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Malted Barley thanks John T. for 5-year partnership in Vocational Program

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

‘John brings light, happiness, kindness and fun energy to the Malted Barley’

Colin and Stephanie Bennett, owners of the popular Malted Barley in Downtown Westerly, are strong believers in the mission of the Olean Center.

Indeed, this past January marked five years of the Bennetts’ participation in the Olean Center’s Vocational Program. Colin Bennett celebrated with a Facebook video in which he thanked a rather shy Olean Center participant who has worked at Malted Barley for all five years but did not want to be identified or take part in any kind of recognition.

In the video, Bennett says he would gladly have John at the bar seven days a week if he would agree and thanked him sincerely for all he does. He said the participant -- we’ll call him John T. to protect his identity! -- is an important second set of eyes and ears on the place, it's as if he were part owner!

“I just want to thank you for not only doing your job but doing my job and letting me know what I do wrong every day,” Bennett says with a smile in the post. “You’ve brought light, happiness, a lot of kindness and fun energy to the Malted Barley… We love you and thanks for being with us.”

Prior to the video Bennett said John was hired to help clean the tavern in the mornings, but John took on other responsibilities.

“He keeps his eyes on everything. He lets me know if something isn’t working and needs to be fixed. He’s a good dude and very organized,” Bennett said. “He’s fun, he introduces himself to everyone who comes through the door. We all have our own fun little relationships with him. We appreciate having him here for sure.”

Clearly, Bennett is a fan of the Olean Center Vocational Program. He has employed other Olean Center participants as well over the years, but John has been a constant. He said he would recommend the Vocational Program to other business owners in need of help.

Peter Boardman our Coordinator of Vocational Services and can be reached at or by calling the Center at 401-596-2091 ext. 127.

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