An act of kindness in a cup

Picture: File

The smell of freshly ground coffee beans and the buzz of togetherness experienced in a coffee shop is what inspired Benson Arendse, a Glencairn resident and coffee shop owner, to help the less fortunate in the valley by providing them with a hot cuppa.

On board with Mr Arendse are several well established coffee shops and hotels in the far south who participate in this initiative which he calls Coffee Collective.

He said the goal was to develop a culture of inclusivity among coffee shops in the valley.

Mr Arendse has managed to get a sponsor who provides the Fish Hoek Homeless Group with a cup of coffee after an early morning swim at the beach. He also plans to facilitate a job readiness programme for them.

Another group which will benefit from the initiative is the Shark Spotting team whose members are sponsored with a daily cup of coffee by a Fish Hoek coffee shop.

Noordhoek coffee shop owner, Guy Chaston who is part of the Coffee Collective, said he had been in the coffee business for more than 17 years, mostly in takeaways, and had been paying it forward since he started.

He said he provided a drink of choice to security guards or any less fortunate person in need and added that he does not rely on his customers to fund a cup of coffee for those in need.

Mobile coffee shop owner, Derek Harrison said he was a firm believer that not everything in life had to be “transacted”.

He said Mr Arendse’s Coffee Collective was a great idea as it helped people to connect and collaborate. “I have a homeless friend who does my morning shop and gets paid in a combination of mostly money and a coffee,” he said.

Nadima Smith from a Simon’s Town hotel said the hotel was excited to be part of Mr Arendse’s initiative as it was a wonderful way of connecting with locals and a good way to rebuild the community and find an inclusive way of living together.