Every day at Café Fresco in Crown Point, Indiana, owner Breanne Zolfo hopes to inspire her customers with handwritten messages of encouragement and positivity. They really seem to love it, so she decided to take it one step further and started challenging customers to perform good deeds in exchange for a free cup of coffee.
She encouraged acts of kindness including putting money in a Salvation Army kettle, paying for someone else’s coffee, and giving food to the homeless and people were happy to do them. Over the six years she’s been open, Zolfo estimates she’s given away thousands of free cups of coffee.
But Zolfo pays it forward outside Café Fresco as well. Every month, she takes the cash from the shop’s tip jar and uses it to help others. She has surprised shoppers by paying for their groceries and once she bought a bicycle for a local homeless man. “I hope that it’s spread positivity throughout, like, not just this community, but other communities that are around us,” Zolfo says. “And for us to play a small part in a lot of people’s lives is the most amazing feeling.”