'When you give kindness, it's contagious': Mukwonago coffee shop's 'Pay it Forward' board sparks phenomenon of giving
MUKWONAGO, Wis. (CBS 58) -- At Brew 52 in Mukwonago, there's more than just coffee on the menu.
"The whole idea is to have a place where people can come, feel inspired, feel welcome," explained Aimee Jadrnicek, who helps with operations at Brew 52. "We want people to leave here feeling ready for their day, or just be uplifted for any reason."
While caffeine can be a great pick-me-up, an item not on the menu is helping this shop give customers an experience that has them leaving with a smile.
"Our Pay It Forward board," Jadrnicek said. "People can come in and give tags or they can come up and check them out and be blessed by them. It's really neat how many people and types of community can be a part of this."
You can't miss the decorated wooden board inside the coffee shop. It's decorated with tags hanging by twine, each with a message for a free menu item for someone that could use it.
When you look closely, the tags may vary. One could offer a smoothie for a student or a coffee for a single mother. Another could be a free bakery item for a veteran. Each tag is provided by a customer that came before, wanting to share some positivity and generosity.
"It's beautiful seeing people come in and want to contribute to the wall," explained Rachel Holst, manager at Brew 52. "We actually see more of that then people taking them. Just seeing that those ties are being used, it brings joy to myself."
Tanya Hinz works in the medical field as a nurse. It was during a trip to Brew 52 a few weeks ago that she was able to find a tag that scored her a free drink.
"I just happened to come across the board," Hinz said. "It was so neat to see some were for vets, some were for a single mom, some were for a nurse. There was one for someone who lost a mom or a dad. It just made me appreciate the kindness that's being portrayed on there."
Hinz took the tag designated for a nurse and her drink. The joy that it brought her inspired her to want to leave a tag of her own.
"I thought, 'How nice to be able to offer that without anything in return.' It makes me want to buy one too and spread the kindness," Hinz explained. "When you give kindness, it's contagious."
That's the goal of the shop, to spread joy and kindness through generosity and, of course, coffee.
"The world today and all the negative things that are happening, if we can touch one person or one soul at a time, it's really awesome," Jadrnicek said. "This time that we're in, people need, sometimes, they need a pause out of their day and a place where they feel safe and loved and cared for."
You can Brew 52's Facebook page for more information.