here is
our story

The Suspended Coffees movement was born on March 27, 2013. The idea to start this movement belongs to John M. Sweeney, after he read about an old Italian tradition called café sospeso.



John M. Sweeney, founder of the Suspended Coffees movement, first came up with the idea of promoting the concept after reading about an old Italian tradition called café sospeso. The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who could afford to do so would order a café sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. The second coffee could then be claimed by someone less fortunate.


John was so taken with the idea that he immediately went to work creating the Facebook page Suspended Coffees, and on March 27, 2013, the Suspended Coffees movement was born.


The progress has been astounding. In its first year alone, Suspended Coffees attracted over 1400 supporting cafes, and over a quarter of a million Facebook followers. The success of the page, and the movement itself, has made a difference to so many.


To see the effect this movement is having on people around the world, please take a look through the website, check out our Facebook page, and read our blogs, and you’ll see inspiration and kindness everywhere.

who we are




Shannon believes in kindness, and she also knows a secret; she knows the secret to success. It’s…wait for it…kindness! When you bring kindness into your daily life, the end result is always success, because it creates a ripple that goes on, often changing direction, speed, even size. She also knows there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. It might be a simple act, but it’s never small, because the impact is always great. This is her definition of success, and her goal is to see this be commonplace in every business and individual she works with. She’s all about creating ripples.

Shannon’s ‘cover’ is working in an accounting office for a regional coffee roaster, in the Midwest, USA. By day, she works with coffee shops, restaurants, and corporate businesses. She also has over 20 years of experience in account management, sales, and customer service. This experience has helped her tremendously with Suspended Coffees.

By night, Shannon works with other ‘difference makers’ and ‘kindness leaders’ around the world, building solid partnerships with them. She also works closely with Debbie, on day to day business, strategic planning, and potential projects for the organization. She oversees the volunteers and their roles as well, and if you’ve ever contacted Suspended Coffees, you’ve likely heard from her.

The team has often felt that Shannon was operating incognito, and at one point, thought her cover was blown when a picture of Wonder Woman was floating around somewhere.




Debbie is Director of Product Development for a niche market software company developing applications for law firms. She has a long history of customer service based roles that involve listening to people’s needs, analyzing their requirements and finding relevant solutions. Debbie is passionate in her belief that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference. When she heard about Suspended Coffees, a movement that perfectly embodies this principle, she was eager to be involved.

As our COO and Café Co-ordinator, Debbie works closely with Shannon in the day-to-day running of the organization, and strategic planning and development. She is the key point of contact for supporting cafés around the world, welcoming them aboard, helping them to get up and running, and dealing with any queries going forward. Debbie likes to visit all the cafés via their websites and Facebook pages and says locating them brings her an added benefit in improving her appalling knowledge of geography.




Matt has several passions in life, including coffee. As well as running his own web development company since 2005, he’s an avid singer of a cappella, and loves to watch (his playing days are over) many sports, in particular his beloved Everton FC.

Matt’s working relationship with Debbie goes back to the mid-90’s, and when working on another project together, and Debbie mentioned her involvement with Suspended Coffees, Matt jumped at the opportunity to get on board and bring the brand up to date, no questions asked. Matt’s team of expert designers and developers have given Suspended Coffees a new impetus, and a base on which to build the next phase of this fantastic movement.

When he retires, Matt would like to visit as many Suspended Coffees cafés as possible, and buy at least one extra coffee in each.

join us

Please fill in the form to join the Suspended Coffees movement, and we will process your application within a few days.

Only owners or authorized employees may fill out this form to enroll a business.