Coffee plan makes ground
GRAFTON Hospital shop owner Marie Howe said her business was in the perfect place to trial the Suspended Coffee craze sweeping the globe.
"Here we get people who are on the top of the world and feeling like they would love to do something for someone," Mrs Howe said.
"And we also get the people who are feeling down and need the friendly pat on the shoulder and comfort a free cup of coffee gives them."
The idea of "suspended coffees" is that people who can afford it buy extra - suspended - coffees when they place their order at participating cafes.
These "suspended coffees" are banked and given to people who cannot afford to pay for them.
Mrs Howe was excited by the idea, although one of the very few not to have heard about it on Facebook.
"Craig (her husband) heard about it a couple of days ago and we discussed it," Mrs Howe said.
"We've decided to get the ball rolling with five coffees and see what happens from there.
"It's a really exciting idea and I hope it works."
Mrs Howe said she would have to learn to use discretion when offering the banked coffees to customers.
"It's a discretionary thing. We'll have to learn when it's the right time to make an offer to someone in the shop," she said.
Mrs Howe said she had, from time to time, given complimentary food or drinks to people who needed it.
"That's what I'm like," she said.
"The good thing about this is it allows the customers to get involved as well."
At least two other shops in Grafton have expressed an inter- est on Facebook in taking part in the program.
The owner of Dairy and Donuts in Grafton Mall, Beatrix Bennett-Hillier, posted that her business is in the plan.
Toast Espresso's Judy Hackett said they're talking about it and says it could also encourage people to participate, especially if they felt like they were returning a favour.