Lexington Coffee Shop Teaches Community to ‘Pay-It-Forward’


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by Dan Pauley

When customers come to into a coffee shop,  they come ready to drop four, five or even six dollars on a drink.

However, when customers come into A Cup of Commonwealth on East Avenue, across the street from Thoroughbred Park,  they are surprise to learn a drink can cost them nothing because someone else has paid for it.

A Cup of Commonwealth was started by coffee enthusiast Sal Sanchez and Chris Ortiz.  The coffee shops slogan is “Embracing Community. Serving Others. Creating Culture.”

According to their website, Cup of Commonwealth is mission is to “fostering a sense of community and cultivating arts through service and culture.”

Since opening in Summer of 2013,  The downtown coffee shop has gained a positive reputation for it friendly service and encouraging atmosphere.

“From the moment that you walk into the giant green door,  they treat you like family,” Says Evan Drysdale, an avid customer. “Whenever I walk in I am greeted with a high-five from the owners.”

One of the unique concepts that A Cup of Commonwealth has adopted is their Pay-It-Forward board where customers can buy drinks for other customers.

A customer is able to pay five dollars and write a name or a requirement for someone to get a free cup of coffee on a cardboard coaster.

“The idea came out of a bar where people would buy beer for other people ,” Jeff Poling, a barista, said. “Its a great way to help grow the community and encourage people to serve one another.

“There is nothing cooler then seeing that you got a free cup of coffee from the Pay-It-Forward wall,” Drysdale said. ” Its also very awesome when you buy a pay-it-forward for someone and you get to bless people in some small way.”

The idea of the pay it forward program to help customers, if they maybe having a bad day, by doing something nice for them with a free cup of coffee.

“The shop does of good job making strangers in to friends.” Poling said when ask what his favorite part was of working for A Cup of Commonwealth. “After a while you quiet seeing customers as customers and start seeing them as friends.”

The coffee shop’s website says that A Cup of Commonwealth has future plans on invite artist in the shop and  host events in activities to help raises money for local organizations.

A Cup of Commonwealth is located at 105 East Avenue, downtown.  More information can found at  www.acupofcommonwealth.com.


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