Tim Harris hasn’t let Down Syndrome keep him from achieving his dream. From childhood, Tim aspired to own a restaurant, a place where he could share his love of food and socialize with the community.
He’s been living that dream for three years now as the proud proprietor of Tim’s Place, a popular eatery in Albuquerque that serves up wonderful food and warm hugs to customers.
The hugs are part of Tim’s naturally sweet personality and seem to delight the patrons who frequent his establishment.
The restaurant even sports a counter that records the number of hugs Tim has bestowed on his customers, nearly 60,000 to date.
An article by Jezebel writes that Tim is a pretty spectacular example of a person who didn’t let his disability stand in the way of his goals.
The 27-year-old is thought to be the first and only person with Down Syndrome to become a restaurant owner in the United States.
For Tim’s parents, Keith and Jeannie Harris, their son’s achievement is a huge step toward future independence.
In an interview with ABC News, Keith Harris explained the thought process behind the restaurant endeavor:
“When you have a kid with substantial disabilities you have to think a lot about their future. We were very motivated for Tim to have as normal as life as possible. Our philosophy as a family was to push the envelope as much as we could toward independence, so that one day when my wife and I are no longer in the picture, Tim will be settled and have his own life.”
Throughout his life, Tim has continually achieved goals some may think were impossible of someone with Down Syndrome. He went to a mainstream high school where he was voted homecoming king by his peers, and lived in a dorm while attending Eastern New Mexico University.
He’s been in a steady relationship with his girlfriend for nearly a year and currently resides in his own apartment adjacent to Tim’s Place.
The proud winner of numerous Special Olympics medals, Tim also serves as a motivational speaker — encouraging kids to stay in school so they can accomplish their own dreams.
Tim is proof of what individuals with Down Syndrome can accomplish and serves as an inspiration to us all.