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‘Dreams come true’: Restaurant owner with Down syndrome inspiring thousands

He's a restaurant owner and an inspiration to thousands of people. Tim Harris, 28, is the nation's only restaurant owner with Down syndrome.

“About 15 years I dreamed of owning my own business. Well I am here to tell you that dreams come true,” Harris said.

He was the keynote speaker at a luncheon in downtown Cleveland on Tuesday for the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Back in 2010, Tim's dream of opening up his own restaurant came true and with the help of his parents, they were able to open 'Tim's Place,' located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Harris also attended eastern New Mexico University earning certificates in food service, plus he's worked at numerous restaurants gaining valuable experience. Harris hopes his accomplishments can inspire others with disabilities.

"I am proud to say that in September of this year I started my own non-profit, 'Tim's Big Heart Foundation.' The goal of my foundation is to help people with disabilities to start their own businesses, oh yeah!" said Harris.

Harris calls his restaurant the 'world's friendliest' because he is known for breakfast, lunch and hugs. Harris has hugged some very famous people like 'American Idol' winner, Jordin Sparks, and the iconic Stevie Wonder. He's also been to the White House to give President Obama a big hug.

Organizers of Tuesday's event said Harris is a role model. "It's very impressive, what time has been able to achieve with the help of his family. I think his family are all entrepreneurs, so he's not that different from everybody else in his family," said Lula Holt Robertson with Cuyahoga County Board Developmental Disabilities.


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