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Market honored for employing BDD worker

Submitted photo Ben Ratner accepts a plaque of appreciation from Paul Anthony of the Reach 4 More program for employing a worker with disabilities at Lib’s Market, a specialty coffee house and restaurant in Salem. At left are Bill Devon, superintendent of the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Lori Jewell, executive director of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

SALEM — Stopping in for a freshly brewed specialty coffee or tea at Lib’s Market makes any day a little brighter, especially if Meena Weingart’s there.

Meena, a woman in her 50’s with a developmental disability, will put in a two or three hour shift a couple of days a week at the cosy coffee shop on State Street. An employee for the past three years, she is a city resident who lives within walking distance of LiBS Market.

“Everybody knows her. People come in here and say, ‘Hi, Meena, how’s it going?'” said Ben Ratner. He and his wife Lindsay own the business.

Meena is “involved in a lot of things in the community,” including amateur theatricals. Her many friends in Salem are another asset she brings to her job at the coffee shop.

Representatives of the Columbiana County Board of Disabilities (CCBDD) stopped in Thursday to present the Ratners with a plaque recognizing them for employing an individual with a disability. The CCBDD, through its Reach 4 More program, works to pair disability clients who want to work with local businesses in search of employees with a good work ethic and pleasant attitude.

Meena’s duties include measuring loose tea, cleaning coffee grinding equipment, preparing table service, and whatever other tasks are assigned to her.

Ratner said Meena recently has been training to learn barista and customer service skills.

Located at 474 E. State St.t, LiBS Market roasts, grinds and blends its own coffees, and sells a variety of loose leaf tea blends. A weekday lunch menu varies daily, with a variety of fresh sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads and desserts. A few examples are pulled pork on Cuban bread sandwiches, crepes with fresh strawberries, biscuits and gravy, and crispy chicken with sesame ginger sauce. Brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 to 2 on weekends.

Ben and Lindsay Ratner named the coffee shop for their children; the name is an anagram of their first names: Lilly, Isabel, Brodie and Simon.

Ratner said LiBS Market stays in contact with its clientele through an active social media presence. The number is 330-337-6962.

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