Carrie Custodio, 1496

Cafe customers are paying it forward by buying coffee and cake for strangers

A high street cafe is ‘banking’ the kindness of local folk who want to pay the cost of a snack for strangers who can’t afford it themselves.

If you’re passing the 1496 cafe on Forres high street, you may have spotted a row of miniature pegs on a string across the window.

Customers can pay £2.50, the price of a coffee or cake, and ask for it to be put ‘on the peg’ and it will be added to the line for anyone who can’t afford to pay for their own.

Owner Carrie Custodio, said that thankfully there are usually pegs still on the line at the end of the month.

Needy families

“On the surface, I guess it means that we don’t have a lot of homeless in our town, however, according to research by Moray Council and groups such as Moray Food Bank I know that we have more than our share of needy, vulnerable families. Our child poverty statistics, for example, are sadly very high.”

Any unclaimed pegs are returned to monetary value at the end of each month and donated to a local charity or group so the money/cashflow goes directly back into the local community.

“We prefer to donate straight to charities rather than via any payment link schemes as they quite often take a commission for this,” Carrie said.

She also explained there are loads of these schemes in big cities: “Social Bite do amazing things from their cafes, and many places offer a ‘leave it hanging’ or pay it forward scheme like ours. It’s sadly not a new thing as there is always a need.

Inspiration

“Local lass Eilidh McKay did amazing things from her place in Glasgow ‘The Project cafe’ and after getting the chance to work with her during a Findhorn Bay Arts Culture Day, she was a huge inspiration to me in putting things you love to do and things you want to do together.”

“We talk about it on our social media platforms and have a notice on the board next to our takeaway window. We would love to connect with charities or groups to help spread the word to the people who need it.

As of 30 August we had a value of £90 donated. We keep £30 a month ‘on the line’ so its there if anyone needs it, and this month plan on donating the rest to Moray School Bank. We would love suggestions from our customers as to who else we can support in the immediate area.”

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