Source: NorthFulton.com

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PIER opens second location in Forsyth County
Store employs adults with disabilities

by Aldo Nahed

August 12, 2013

The staff at the new PIER Thrift Store from left: Hannah Wood, Josh Matteson, Cindy Matteson, Mike McCarron, Mallory Westbrook and Ken Pruit.Aldo Nahed.
Shoppers at the new PIER Thrift Store in Cumming, from left: Jamesina Day and Teresa Day get their order rung up by Cindy Matteson.Aldo Nahed.
CUMMING, Ga. — A thrift store whose mission is to provide work opportunities for adults with disabilities has opened a second location.

PIER (Providing Inspiration Employment and Resources) Foundation opened at 1862 Buford Highway in Cumming 30041.

Their original location in north Forsyth County is at 5185 Browns Bridge Road.

Cindy Matteson and her husband Hutch Matteson opened the thrift store as a way for Josh — now 23 — their son with Down Syndrome with a place to work.

"We realized there wasn't a place for him to work after he graduated high school," Cindy Matteson said. "We started looking at what kind of opportunities we could provide for him so he could have something to go to everyday and work."

Matteson said her foundation was modeled after the largest employer of adults with disabilities in Franklin, Tenn.

This marks the second year for the PIER Foundation, which employs about 20 people with autism, cerebral palsy and mild retardation between both locations.

About two adults with disabilities a week come to PIER looking for a job, Matteson said. The employees are paid minimum wage to start with and half of the employees have already been given raises. In addition, the employees are encouraged to hang out on their days off and volunteer, if they want.

"Our nonprofit and board of directors decided it was time to expand and do a second location in the south end of the county," Matteson said. "Right now we are learning this new facility and seeing how we'll get things done."

Both stores are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, visit www.pierfoundation.org.