The Birds and The Beans may look like a typical coffee shop, but there’s something different about this quiet caffeine-inducing space in the Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center building.
Ridgefield High School students created this business through the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, or CAPS, program. CAPS allows students to participate in a real-world, project-based program to develop professional skills. Students fill out an application and go through an interview process to join this program. They can choose from three different types of occupational skills: engineering, health sciences, or business, marketing and entrepreneurship.
Killa Bites co-owner Laura Jhaveri volunteered to work with students years ago so that she and her partner, Donna Suomi, could use the former middle school’s kitchen to bake goodies for their company. The school superintendent, Nathan McCann, suggested Jhaveri work with students through the CAPS program, and The Birds and The Beans was born.
“I didn’t know anything about coffee before this project,” Jhaveri admitted. She did know Red Leaf Coffee; they were Killa Bites customers. Jhaveri and the five high school students in her program created the name for the coffee shop.
“Ridgefield is known for its wildlife refuge and Birdfest so we were trying to make that connection with the shop name,” Jhaveri said.