MEAD, Wash. – A local coffee-shop owner is doing his part to make sure those who have struggled have a second chance.

Aaron Rivkin recently opened Ladder Coffee and Toast, located near Mead High School at 603 West Hastings.

Rivkin is a two-time felon and former heroin addict who has changed his life for the better. The coffee shop’s name stems from one of Rivkin’s life mottos.

“It’s taken a long time for me to climb a huge ladder to get where I’m at. You never climb a ladder just to climb a ladder. There’s always an end goal, and so with Ladder Coffee that’s my goal,” said Rivkin. “I want to put rungs in front of people so they can climb that ladder, wherever they want to go.”

Now, Rivkin’s goal is to employ men and women who may be having a hard time finding a job due to decisions they made in their past.

“My goal is to hire, train, equip people that… have not had an easy going,” said Rivkin. “And so, we want to equip those people and give them job readiness training, and then send them out in the business world, helping them write business plans, put them in front of investors so that they can create coffee shops. Not just to be a cool, new thing, but to be an impact, as well.”

Though his business model might set him up for more competition in the future, Rivkin said it is worth it.

“I think that the more that we can do in Spokane to help change the epidemic of the homeless population and the addicts here, the more we’ll be a successful business,” said Rivkin. “Being a now-sober person, being able to shine a light of ‘It’s possible to change.’ That’s our goal.”

Opening Ladder Coffee was a rung on Rivkin’s ladder, but he said there are still many more rungs for him to climb.

“We have our eyes on roasting. We have our eyes on launching more businesses across the Pacific Northwest.”