A small act of kindness can go a long way. This is the idea behind The Suspended Coffee Movement.
The movement is a type of pay-it-forward action, not a boycott of coffee. It is a way to give back to the community.
The Suspended Coffee Movement makes an effort to provide a warm beverage or a meal to those who might not always be lucky enough to have the luxury.
Originally, the tradition began in cafes of southern Italy.
“Caffe Sospeso,” which translates to “suspended coffee,” is a movement in which someone pays in advance for an extra cup or two of coffee, which then can be consumed by another customer in need at a later time. The coffee is completely paid for, meaning the business does not lose anything, and the customer who bought the extra coffee is helping someone.
Paige Graves, alumna from Kevil, Ky., found the movement completely by accident.
“I found out about it myself one day just browsing the Internet,
and I loved the possibilities that could come with its implementation,” Graves said. “I wanted to know if this was something our
community would be willing to support.”
Since then, Graves created the Suspended Coffee of Murray Facebook page and has asked local businesses in Murray to join in and participate.
Graves said she believes the movement will benefit not only community members but the businesses in town as well.
“It comes at no cost to (the businesses),” Graves said. “If anything, it just fosters this idea that we are the friendliest small town in America.”
So far, the non-profit business 5th and Main Coffees, has pledged to offer suspended coffees.
“My husband and I received an invitation from the Suspended Coffee of Murray Facebook page,” said Karen Welch, manager of 5th and Main Coffees. “Since we are a non-profit Christian bookstore and coffee shop, the movement, which is reminiscent of pay-it-forward, hit an area we hold dear in our hearts.”
Welch said after speaking with the baristas, she decided it would be a good idea if they kept up with the coffees purchased.
In addition, the shop has decided to extend the movement to include their pastries, teas and chocolates. If it is on the menu, it is available to be suspended for another consumer.
“We have decided to keep a log of the date and product bought and mark it off as it is used,” she said. “As long as it doesn’t become a hassle, we will continue it as long as we can.”
Both Graves and Welch said they believe the movement will give the community a boost.
“I think it will be an opportunity for us to care for one another and remember how lucky we are,” Graves said. “This gives everyone a chance to touch lives more directly and to be grateful for that opportunity.”
Students who would like to get involved can tell local businesses about the movement or go to a business which supports the movement and buy an extra coffee for another person.
“(People will participate) because it’s a simple act of kindness where people know exactly where their money is going when they participate,” Graves said. “What matters in life is that you do something every day out of love, and this is a great way to do it.”
Many places in America that are picking up the trend claim it could just cause customers to take advantage of the suspended products before buying extra to suspend.
Graves acknowledged this aspect and argued in support of the movement.
“I realize there’s been talk that this movement could be taken advantage of because people might ask for a suspended item even if they don’t really need it,” Graves said. “Well, none of us really need coffee, but we need the kindness.”
Story by Hunter Harrell, Staff writer.