When Lexington, Ky.'s A Cup of Common Wealth café was robbed last week, its owners fought back—with radical kindness.
The café was just one in a string of neighborhood businesses hit by thieves. In response, Common Wealth owners Salvador Sanchez and Chris Ortiz announced through their Facebook page that they would happily provide free cups of coffee to customers who shopped at those targeted stores.
"Buy a coffee or cool things from @thirdstreetstuff, grab some art from The Collective, get your hair did at Hair Razors, grab some froyo some Fro-Jo's, or help any or all of the above in any way they could need to get back in business," reads a post on the Facebook page.
Acting on the honor code, Common Wealth won't require patrons to provide a receipt from those businesses to receive a free coffee—the staff will just take their word for it.
Ortiz explained to The Huffington Post that the motivation behind the gesture was simple: "We wanted to rally the community."
Mission accomplished. In addition to the coffee giveaway, Common Wealth erected a community Christmas tree, asking that customers leave a wrapped present, if they're in a position to give one, or take a present, if they need a pick-me-up. One customer deposited a brand-new bicycle under the tree, and others have left smaller gifts, including cash.
Common Wealth's socially responsible spirit extends to its menu. According to the company's website, the café sources its coffee from micro-roaster Water Street, which provides beans that are Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic.
Despite the recent criminal activity in their neighborhood, the café's owners remain upbeat, posting on Facebook, "Don't give up on people.... We all go through life together, and sometimes that means picking up the pieces together when things go wrong. But it also lays the ground work for us to build something better together when it's all said and done."