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You can do this $2 thing and be awesome on Valentine’s Day

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Have you ever paid anyone’s toll before? Or had yours paid for, unbeknownst to you until you reached the tollbooth?

It’s a  great feeling to pay it forward, or to practice acts of random kindness (a concept which I’ve seen move from a bumper sticker spotted in Grateful Dead parking lots to mainstream vernacular)

Meet #RVACoffeeLove, an idea which percolated among some of Richmond’s finest. It you aren’t familiar with what a hash (#) symbol in front of an unspaced phrase means, just read everything as “Richmond Coffee Love,” from here on out because its the idea that matters most.

#RVACoffeeLove has its origin in the Suspended Coffee movement, which originally spread through Europe as a way to buy a less fortunate person a cup of coffee. It simply means a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an act of charity.

The #RVACoffeeLove bouquet is simple, yet elegant in conception; this coming Valentine’s Day buy someone a cup of coffee.

rvacoffeelove1It can be your sweetie, your boss, your neighbor, your favorite CBS 6 Web Team, or the total stranger behind you in line.

Tell them about #RVACoffeeLove. Go about your day with a good feeling.

It’s warm things like this that will help us survive the #SnowPocalypse, #SnoMaggedon or #SnowZilla –whatever it’s called.

As a side note, one thing I remember from my barista days is the legend that coffee was first discovered by goats. A goat herder noticed that his normally chill goats were cavorting about near a dark-leafed shrub.

He sampled the red berries and determined that the stimulant in them was responsible for the frisky goats. He shared the berries with some monks, who added water and found that it created a “heaven sent” drink.

Maybe that’s a juicy tidbit you can share with that certain someone whom you buy a cup of coffee for on Friday.

Either way, if you wind up with a #RVACoffeeLove moment, share it on their community page: or tweet to them @RVACoffeeLove.

Don’t be scared to try the gift of a free cup of tea either, in a pinch.

And be on the lookout for the city’s cartoon-drawing dad, Doug Orelski, to leave one of his signature pieces of art around town.

Here are the locally owned shops around town:

  1. Alchemy Coffee–Food Truck and Coffee Shop–900 Park Ave (Linden)
  2. Black Hand Coffee Company–3101 Patterson Ave (at Belmont Ave.)
  3. Blanchard’s Coffee Co. Roast Lab–700 Bainbridge St (7th)
  4. Captain Buzzy’s Beanery–2623 E Broad St (at 27th St)
  5. Carytown Bistro & Coffee House–3200 W Cary St (Beaumont Ave)
  6. Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream–83600 Forest Hill Ave (at Semmes Ave)
  7. Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market–4 N Thompson St (at Ellwood Ave)
  8. Harrison Street Coffee Shop–402 N Harrison St (btwn Franklin & Grace)
  9. Lamplighter Roasting Co.–116 S Addison St (at Parkwood Ave)
  10. Lamplighter in Scott’s Addition–1719 Summit Ave.
  11. Lift Coffee Shop & Café–218 W Broad St (btwn N Jefferson & N Madison St)
  12. Plant Zero Cafe–7 E 3rd St
  13. Rev It Up–1211 W Main St, Richmond, VA 23220
  14. Shockoe Espresso & Roastery–104 Shockoe Slip (E. Cary St)
  15. Sub Rosa Bakery–620 N 25th St (Jefferson Ave.), Richmond, VA 23223
  16. Sugar Shack Donuts–1001 N Lombardy St (W Leigh St.)
  17. Taza Coffee N Creme–5047 Forest Hill Avenue
  18. The Urban Farmhouse Market & Café–1217 E Cary St (at S 13th St)
  19. WPA Bakery–2707 E Marshall St, Richmond, VA 23223

Think also, there are plenty of local restaurants that sell good coffee (because stranger or not, give the gift of good coffee).

Here are the locally managed Starbucks around town, just click to plug in your location. 

If we missed a coffee spot, please nicely send us an email and we will add it!

Read more about the Suspended Coffee movement on NPR. 

***$2 is a a ballpark figure***


  • Becky

    Gee. What a shame. A Special Interest, Tax Exempt/Non Profit,
    Lobbyist Group has to Propagandize, TELL, and Instruct Positively Richmond in what is Correct-Mess they should follow.
    Listen to US! WE, Are Politically Purposed to be so loving, kind, caring, and always so much More Benevolent in our Self-Centered Objectives, Agendas, Purposes, Advertising and Propagandizing.
    NO! NO spontaneous acts of human kindness should emanate
    from individual thoughts, opinions, and love.

  • Romaine Cheney

    Okay, my take on this. I’m a huge advocate of the Pay It Forward movement. However, this movement has one pay for a cup of coffee and then a second for someone less fortunate that comes in later. Reality is, someone that is less fortunate is not likely to come in later. Should have 10 folks come in and participate in this, it’s likely ONE person would come in that can’t afford it. Where does the money go then for those that paid for two cups but only needed one? No matter what, these coffee shops would be making out in the end. I’d much rather buy a handful of $5 gift cards to these shops and give them to the folks panhandling or that looks like they could use it.

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