• Ann Allanson

Coffee Brews Up Kindness



Jesse Cordero noticed how much money his wife was spending on coffee. She had scads of stamped cards. That's when he realized if his wife was spending that much on coffee, how much were others spending?

An idea was born.

After doing some researching and studying, he put his plan into action. Cordero opened Brewed Awakenings serving coffee, acai cups, sandwiches and sweets throughout the day.

Business has been good but he wanted to find other ways to improve the shop and to get more customers.

Cue thinking hat. When that happens, the Universe provides not just an answer, but an unusual one.

When visiting the Philippines, Cordero noticed an eatery with a whole wall loaded with Post-it notes paying it forward. He asked the shop owner about it. "I feel good when I give and I know others do, too," the coffee shop owner said.

Cordero loved the idea and brought it back to his own shop.

The process is simple. Purchase any product on the menu for somebody else and the staff will offer you a coffee sleeve to write a random or inspiring message anonymously for a future client.

For those who discover themselves short on cash and in need of a coffee or a meal fix, Cordero stated, "Individuals can come here and not have any cash and still have a square meal."

Cordero patrons loved it. The idea took off as customers have actually purchased meals and beverages for total strangers.

How cool is that? A locally owned coffee shop that motivates through compassion, encouraging its customers to pay it forward.

Now customers in the military or first-responders in uniform, single moms and dads and college students having a hard time can delight in a cup of cheer thanks to the compassion of complete strangers, who get involved in the shop's pay it forward program.

The Acts of Kindness wall has coffee sleeves attached to it with inspirational messages like:

  • For a single parent, may your days of courage be gratifying.

  • If you're having a tough day, keep powering through. You got this.

  • 1 free 20 oz frappe for an inspiring musician.

  • Having a bad day? Have a latte on me.

  • Go after that dream and don't ever stop.

  • For a customer care agent who had an angry customer or a long day, take pleasure in a totally free drink.

Cordero gets a lot of comments. Many of them say that there are still some "human people" in the world who care.

The reaction to the kindness program has been overwhelming, not just from patrons but from the community as well. "People like it. They love that we did this and it makes them feel great," Cordero said.

Even some of Cordero's buddies, also entrepreneurs, have latched on to the idea and started a similar pay-it-forward program for their customers.

How about that? Kindness is spreading!

But really, can you think of a better way to teach kindness than through the power of coffee and people?

#coffeelover #kindness

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