Best Huntington Beach Coffee Shops
Credit: INC Coffee Roasters

How This Huntington Beach Coffee Shop Is Creating Opportunities for Individuals With Disabilities

INC Coffee Roasters Is Powered by Caffeine and Inclusion

According to a 2022 Labor Force Characteristics Summary from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 21.3% of individuals with a disability were employed. While this is an improvement from 2021’s percentage (19.1%), the unemployment rate was still around twice as high as the rate for those without a disability.

Inarguably, there’s a gap in employment rates between those with disabilities and those without. In an effort to remedy this and make a positive change where he could, Adeel Asif opened up Able Coffee Roasters in 2018 with the mission to provide job opportunities for those with disabilities in the community. Today, the Huntington Beach location continues to foster equity and inclusion, now under a new look, logo and name.

“INC (pronounced ‘I-N-C’) is short for inclusion. The mission was shaped by our previous company, Able Coffee Roasters, which we started just over six years ago. Now in 2024, we’ve rebranded from Able to INC Coffee Roasters,” Asif shares. “The mission behind it is to create meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities within our community and create an inclusive work environment for our staff and our families that come visit us and hang out.”

Best Huntington Beach Coffee Shops
Credit: INC Coffee Roasters

Prior to owning a coffee shop, Asif earned his master’s in applied behavior analysis and worked as a special educator and a behavior therapist for the Irvine Unified School District for about 10 years. “I worked in an autism-specific classroom with students and adults with autism and various disabilities,” he explains.

In these programs, Asif helped his students learn different vocational, life and independent skills so they could graduate from high school and adult transition programs with tools to prepare them for the workforce. But even with these learned skills, he saw a lack of opportunity for this community.

Credit: INC Coffee Roasters

“Working as a special educator for so long, I saw that there was a large gap in employment for our students who were graduating. So when I first started Able, that was the goal: to create an environment with minimum wage jobs for our students who are looking for work,” Asif says. “Between 2018 and 2023, Able Coffee Roasters created over a hundred jobs between two locations. Our staff learns skills like being a cashier, a barista, a shift lead, learning how to make food, packaging coffee, social media marketing—meaningful employment.”

Over the five years operating under Able Coffee Roasters, Asif saw that inclusion had become a cornerstone value for the brand alongside creating an environment where staff members felt comfortable and safe. Asif shares that this was a major focus going forward with the rebrand, which came with updating this Huntington Beach coffee shop’s overall look and feel.

Credit: INC Coffee Roasters

Anyone who visited Able Coffee Roasters will remember a light blue and white color palette with a puzzle piece logo—both of which INC Coffee Roasters has moved away from. Now, visitors can enjoy the shop’s new look (a chic industrial design with a black palette and warm wood accents) and an updated logo.

“With INC, we rebranded from the puzzle piece to a new logo, the ampersand, which is synonymous with inclusion,” says Asif. The intention stems from the symbolic meaning of the ampersand—it acts as a bridge that brings two or more things together, such as coffee and friends.

Another way this Huntington Beach coffee shop has been bringing people together is through community involvement. “We’ve been really connected on community engagement,” shares Asif. “We work with local businesses to do pop-up community events, and we work with a third-party event organizer, Creative Babe Market. We work with local artists and musicians and with small up-and-coming brands to incorporate their products into our drink menu, our food menu and our goods section.”

In INC’s goods section, customers can browse through carefully curated brands and products like Graza, Cabi, John’s Incredible Socks and more.

Aside from friendly, dedicated service, INC patrons can expect creative, flavor-focused drinks and delicious food. Some of INC’s most crowd-pleasing items include the black and white (olive bread served with labneh, za’atar, olive oil and olive salt), the breakfast sliders and specialty drinks like the i.n.c. (espresso with activated charcoal and vanilla).

Asif’s favorite drink on the menu, however, is the White Miso Latte.

“For the past year and a half, we’ve been working on this recipe. It took us a pretty long time to perfect it. We actually released it through Able last year and it did so, so well. Essentially, it would compare to a salted caramel latte, just more umami-forward,” Asif says.

Best Huntington Beach Coffee Shops
Credit: INC Coffee Roasters

Currently, Huntington Beach is INC’s only store, but its second location in Foothill Ranch will open in March as a part of Hoag Health Center. Even though the rebrand just went live at the beginning of 2024, the Foothill Ranch location is just the start of INC’s goals for expansion and growth.

“My hopes for INC Coffee Roasters are to continue to grow the brand, open more storefront locations in Orange County and hopefully move into some different cities. We’re working with local schools with our coffee cart program, so we’re going to continue to grow that as well. We have a couple of school sites out of state now too,” Asif says.

Credit: INC Coffee Roasters

As far as special events go, Asif shares that we can all expect cupping events, pop-up food events, tasting menu experiences and more. To keep in touch with INC Coffee Roasters and stay up to date on announcements and events, follow the shop on social media


INC Coffee Roasters
Location: Huntington Beach + Foothill Ranch (coming soon!)

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.




Related Content

Azure Palm Hot Springs
Skip to content