By Karen Morfitt

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– Along with serving up great coffee, Dirt Coffee will also be opening the door for individuals with autism to gain valuable work experience.

Lauren Burgess is the executive director and co-founder.

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(credit: CBS)

“Everything good starts at Dirt,” she said about the idea for the name Dirt.

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(credit: CBS)

Friday night the team at Dirt Coffee was hard at work preparing for the grand opening.

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(credit: CBS)

Tackling last minute paint jobs, putting away brand new mugs and of course walking through the coffee stations.

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Daniel Boone (credit: CBS)

Daniel Boone, wearing the conductor’s hat he earned as employee of the year, has been with the dirt team from the beginning.

“Hit that button and the coffee grinds come right in to it,” Boone said while demonstrating how to operate the espresso machine.

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(credit: CBS)

Boone can step in to just about any role they need him to.

“What I do here is sometimes I could be at the service counter, at the cash register or at the pickup counter or the barista support,” he said.

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(credit: CBS)

Burgess says that is exactly what she wanted when she launched the project a number of years ago.

“I had been working with children and teens with autism and then finally when they turned 18, I was working with a young man who wanted a job and I said, ‘Okay, let’s go get you a job.’”

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(credit: CBS)

Burgess says that turned out to be more challenging than she expected.

“I figured why not start a coffee shop and employ individuals ourselves?” she said.

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(credit: CBS)

That is exactly what she did.

Now, years of serving up coffee and cause from the dirt coffee truck is paying off.

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(credit: CBS)

The nonprofit is opening their first brick-and-mortar store in Littleton with the hopes of doubling the number of employees with autism.

While it is a big change from the truck, he has grown to love.

“I feel like I have much more space to work with here,” he said.

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(credit: CBS)

Boone is ready.

“I am super excited why you may ask apparently it’s because I get to serve a lot of people and deliver them big smiles,” said Boone.

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(credit: CBS)

If you cannot make it to the grand opening on Saturday at the 5767 S. Rapp St in Littleton, you can still help this great cause by donating.

LINK: Dirt Coffee

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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