Coffee lovers can pay for a cup in advance to give to someone in need

Atlantic Baking Company pays it forward with new ‘suspended coffee’ effort

Thu, 01/02/2014 - 5:00pm

    ROCKLAND — Two employees of Atlantic Baking Company picked up on a charitable trend that has been sweeping the world and decided to make it a local endeavor starting today. The trend is called “Suspended Coffees,” in which someone goes up to the counter to pay for his or her coffee and springs for an extra cup — only he or she won’t know who the extra coffee goes to. The paid-for coffee is now “suspended,” held and brewed/poured later for someone in need who could just really use a hot cup of Joe.

    What a great way to kick off 2014 with this anonymous act of charity and kindness.

    Hope Percy, the retail supervisor, and Martha Page, general manager, recently jumped on the international trend. “We both saw the story going around about Suspended Coffees on Facebook and we Googled it. It was something that started a hundred years ago in Italy,” said Percy.

    The Italian tradition began in the working-class cafes of Naples, traditionally around Christmas time. It was called: caffè sospeso—a pending coffee paid for in advance by someone who experienced a bout of good luck that day.

    “We just started doing it today,” she said. “We have a little sign at the register and at the door. People are pretty excited about it. I think a few people have paid for a few extra coffees already.” Today, she was demonstrating to the employees how to deal with the additional transactions.

    All a patron has to do is tell the counter person how much he or she wants to pay for a suspended item. That’s it: nothing more to it. “We’ll put the additional contribution onto a hot drink gift card,” said Percy. “We’ll also have one for a food gift card, if people want to suspend a bakery item for someone.”

    “We haven’t had anyone come in yet to get their suspended coffee,” she said. “It’s pretty quiet out there on this snowy day.”

    If any other restaurants or stores in the Midcoast want to pick up on this trend, we want to hear about. To find out more about the Suspended Coffee trend, visit Wikipedia or Facebook.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at