A TRADITION of generosity said to have started in Naples has found its way to Ballarat and the Church Retro Cafe.
According to a Facebook page dedicated to the phenomenon, ‘Suspended Coffee’ is based on an Italian goodwill gesture allowing customers to purchase additional coffees in advance.
The ‘Suspended Coffee’ can then be given to anyone who may be doing it tough.
The Church Retro Cafe owner Noreen Lynch said she was hoping the community would get together and help her feed the hungry of Ballarat.
“Imagine you wanted a cup of coffee and you couldn’t have one,” Ms Lynch said.
“By giving a coffee to someone in need, your coffee will taste even sweeter.”
Ms Lynch said she also wanted to help the homeless feel less marginalised by welcoming them into her warm and colourful cafe.
“In winter we have a great big fire roaring,” she said.
“I like to welcome the homeless to sit by the fire, read the paper or they could browse the internet on our free wi-fi.
“I just want them to feel a part of the community.”
She said being able to come and have a hot drink in a nice place would bring some softness to lives that are often lived under very harsh conditions.
“I know there are a lot of people who don’t have money for a cup of coffee but I can’t afford to give to all of them,” Ms Lynch said.
“So I am hoping my customers will help out.
An Irish expatriate, Ms Lynch said she had often watched her mother give generously to those in need.
“It is a principal I have to give half-an-hour of every day to charity,” she said.
Ms Lynch said she was keen to extend the tradition to food, especially soups.
“We are starting a burger cart outside the cafe on Monday and people can buy a ‘suspended burger’,” she said.
The ‘Suspended Coffee’ Facebook page has attracted nearly 45,000 likes. The page has some heart-warming stories of good deeds done with suspended coffees and meals. “I am hoping other cafes in Ballarat take up the tradition of ‘Suspended Coffee’,” Ms Lynch said.
For information call The Church Retro Cafe, Albert Street, Ballarat Central on 5338 4611.