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Customers pay it forward at east-side coffee shop as business owners continue mission of charity

Visitors at this coffeehouse can leave a nice sticky-note message, and a surprise for the customer behind them.

SAN ANTONIO — The couple behind Folklores Coffee House is back at it again.

When the pandemic shut down the shop in March, Tatu and Emilie Herrera took it upon themselves to start feeding seniors in the community. In the last nine months, they've delivered 60,0000 meals to people in need. 

Tatu said they delivered their last meal this week. Their project is taking a pause while they work to become a nonprofit organization.

In the meantime, goodwill guides this giving pair to their next act of kindness.

"It's a thing of habit now," Tatu said. "Where we're like, 'Hey what are we doing for our community this week?'"

They've moved their south-side shop to a new location in east San Antonio. There, a whiteboard hangs on the wall near the register with a few red sticky notes attached to it.

"People are still struggling with the pandemic, with work. It's something we hear all the time and it's sad," Tatu said. "We felt like this could benefit anybody.

Customers coming in for a coffee can pay it forward and buy a drink for a stranger. For $5, they get a red sticky note to put on the whiteboard. Many of them choose to write an uplifting message for the person in need of a perk.

"We have people who come in and they'll just buy that; they feel like they're a part of something," Tatu said. "To see people actually care about each other, it's so cool to see."

Tatu hopes that taste of kindness sticks with them.

"We want to build a sense of community at our new shop," Tatu said. "This is just the beginning."

Folklores Coffee House is located at 1526 East Grayson St. For hours and more information, call (210)455-0360.

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