LISTEN | How brewing cups of kindness helped a Fourways couple deal with their sadness

Entrepreneurs with heart bring some cheer to troubled souls

21 November 2021 - 00:00
A Fourways coffee shop is offering coffee vouchers for people in need of a pick-me-up. Stock image.
A Fourways coffee shop is offering coffee vouchers for people in need of a pick-me-up. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/ karandaev

A small coffee shop in Fourways, Johannesburg, built on the principle of “brewing kindness daily”, is providing an antidote for people battling life’s challenges. 

The DC Coffee Company in Pineslopes is the brainchild of husband and wife team Neil and Samantha Golding, who are “living the dream that makes us happier than we ever thought possible”.

Their Free Coffee Fridays led to the idea of offering free coffee every day — and so the “pending coffee” wall was set up. This involves vouchers for people in need of a pick-me-up — some list a specific recipient, others anyone in need — but each from a kind soul to a beneficiary.

“We see people buying vouchers for someone going through something that resonates with them,” Neil said. Some of the vouchers read: “For someone going through a break-up”, “For a single mom”, “Someone who needs a pick-me-up”. Each has a personal heartfelt message.

“Everyone said we wouldn’t make it, and offering stuff for free would make us the target of people who take and abuse whatever they can,” Neil said. “But instead we have experienced the opposite, and through Covid we have just grown and grown.

We discovered a ripple effect takes hold when your intentions are genuine.”

Brand strategist Neil knows how tough life can get at times. 

In 2004 he and his sister survived the Thailand tsunami. In 2005 his girlfriend and then his best friend died. Samantha suffered three miscarriages before their daughter was born in 2016. Her many health challenges saw them spend nine months desperately consulting 16 specialists in four different cities.

Neil Golding of DC Coffee Co, in front of the wall of free coffee offers.
Neil Golding of DC Coffee Co, in front of the wall of free coffee offers.
Image: Alon Skuy

The couple lost their home and Neil was on suicide watch when they teamed up with friends who had a vision to create a farm-style coffee shop.

A few weeks later they handed the business over to Neil and the DC Coffee Company was born. They set up in a local church and after the lockdown forced them to close they reopened on May 1 in their new venue.

Since then Fridays have become the day on which coffees are served free to various troubled categories — frontline workers, travel agents, entertainers or people who have been retrenched.

“The aim was for people to feel seen and loved,” said Neil.


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