Paper Planes Café, an Inclusive and Accessible Coffee Bar, Opens at YVR

A new coffee bar is brewing up inclusive employment opportunities and an elevated travel experience at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Paper Planes Café is an inclusive and accessible coffee bar and the first of its kind at a Canadian airport, unveiled in partnership with Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN). A team of individuals of different abilities from the neurodiverse community builds the Paper Planes Café staff, preparing and serving an array of coffee, hot drinks, and quick snacks for the millions of passengers who travel through YVR.

Paper Planes Café is creating meaningful employment opportunities that empower individuals with diverse abilities by providing them with the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paper Planes Café to YVR in partnership with Pacific Autism Family Network,” said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Paper Planes Café is more than just a coffee shop, it is a place where adults with diverse abilities can gain paid employment, training, and valuable work experience. Travellers passing through YVR will have an opportunity to enjoy quality food and beverages while also upholding employment opportunities for individuals across the neurodiverse community in a safe and empowering place.”

The café will allow YVR and PAFN to deliver a training program focused on tangible skills and expertise typical to the restaurant and service industry for up to six months for all staff. Skills include barista talents, food preparation, and customer service. At the end of the training, staff will also be supported with their job search in the community.

The new café can be found in the Domestic Arrivals area on Level 2 and will be open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

“PAFN is so thrilled to be part of this new initiative at YVR.  Building upon our programming, this will allow us to offer meaningful training in a paid position leading to hopefully employment.  Thank you to YVR for helping us make a difference in the lives of individuals and their families across the neurodiverse community,” said Sergio Cocchia O.B.C. LL.D. (Hon), Board Chair & President, Pacific Autism Family Network