Friday, January 26, 2007
Hospitality and the Cafe
I have had a long standing interest in hospitality. I've even had the opportunity to help folks in need, even though it is one of the most terrifying and elating experiences to have. One of the things that interests me is hospitality through the shop. While researching something completely different, I came across an article about a Naples, Italy tradition of hospitality called Caffe Sospeso, or "Coffee in Suspense". Basically, a patron buys two cups of coffee but only receives one. The extra one is held in trust by the proprietors until a homeless, or similarly afflicted, person comes to the cafe needing assistance. The nice part about it is that no one is negatively affected: the proprietor does not lose his shirt to "mooches", the downtrodden one received some small amount of comfort, and the customer receives satisfaction from the exchange. What a wonderful way to extend God's love to someone else: not exactly a "cup of cold water", but sometimes coffee suits better.