It started out as a day to thank the town for their patronage and turned into so much more!
Joe and Valerie Cuce own Jersey Café in Brooksville, Florida. In 2009 they decided that they wanted to do something as a gesture of thanks to the community for their many years of successful business. They decided that for one entire day, they would give away free food – anything on the menu! They noticed that at first, their “regulars” stood in line but as time passed, the regulars left to go to other restaurants with a shorter wait time – but the line was still long. Why if so many regulars had left, did they still have such a long line? Because the “regulars” had money in their pocket and could go somewhere else to eat, the people that remained in line – some for as long as three hours – were hungry. They realized how much that day meant to the people who were served.
As time went by they looked for ways to help their community – then they found Suspended Coffees. As soon as they could get the program together, they happily joined because they knew there was a need for it. They’ve been a part of the Suspended Coffees movement for about a year now and feel that it is the best thing they have ever done. Valerie shared with me, “The response we have received from our patrons has been tremendous, even taking the economy into consideration.” Because they saw the need, they offer both beverages and meals through “Suspended Money.”
The system that they have put into place allows the servers to write the reasons (or story) for why a patron is using a Suspended Coffees ticket. They share those stories on their Facebook page – don’t worry, they don’t reveal identities. I spent a great deal of time reading through these postings and my heart was truly touched by such caring and generosity!
When I asked what they would say to other establishments that are considering joining the Suspended Coffees movement, the answer was a resounding, “Do it!” Valerie went on to say, “The rewards you receive are the beautiful smiles when someone receives the gift of caring from people they will probably never know. They know that someone does care about them and that is priceless. There should not be a doubt in anyone’s mind when considering joining this movement.”
In closing, Valerie and Joe said, “Thanks for the privilege of being part of this movement. If the whole world would follow this example, what a world it would be…wonderful…don’t you think?”
If you would like to learn more about Jersey Café, you can visit them at 12993 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville, FL; call them at (352) 596-1424; email them at firstname.lastname@example.org; or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jersey-Cafe/450790204972018.