Customers can pay-it-forward to warm-up neighbours
© Heather Killen photo
Thomas Leahamawa, one of the cafe regulars, says staff Jessica Somers and Jennifer Wilson have come up with a great idea to help people in the community.
A café in Middleton is helping to warm-up the town by offering customers a chance to pay it forward on the Bean Board.
Jennifer Wilson and Jessica Somers, of The Bean Roasted Café, say they’ve started a special menu where customers double-up their order and buy a food item to donate to someone who needs it.
“If you’re short of cash this week, you can take an item out,” says Jennifer Wilson. “When you have extra money, you may want to give a little back. This time of the year is hard and sometimes things happen that leave you short, it happens to everyone.”
People can buy coffee, wraps, soup—any item on the regular menu—and donate the item to the Bean Board. Someone who is short of cash can pick an item from the board, no questions asked.
The Café tops off the board if it gets low, but so far people have been more than willing to pay-it-forward.
Jessica Somers said they saw the idea on Facebook, after another café introduced a program called Suspended Coffee that gave customers a chance to pre-pay a coffee order that can be picked up whenever a person is short of cash and needing a hot drink.
So far about 10 people have already ordered items off the Bean Board and regular customers have been eager to support the program and are routinely doubling-up on their double-doubles and lunches.
Thomas Leahamawa, one of the Bean Roast regulars, says he thinks the program is a great boost for people in need. He says he sees people in Middleton every day that probably need a warm place to go.
This pay-it-forward menu gives people who need a break a warm place to go for an hour and socialize in a friendly environment.
“The atmosphere here is nice,” he said. “I love the people.”
Jennifer Wilson, who has been managing the café for about the past year, says she has been trying to create a friendly gathering place and Bean Board is a great way to build community atmosphere.
Wilson added that while she is stepping back from the café over the next few months on maternity leave, she’ll be checking in pretty regularly.
“I’ll still be around, I’m not going anywhere,” said Wilson. “In the meantime, Jessica will be taking over for a few months.”
Visit the café at 11 Commercial St. in Middleton, or on Facebook the Bean Roasted Café page.