When walking into Nervous Dog Coffee Bar, a locally owned coffee shop in Stow, it’s not evident that they have also begun to feed those in need. Their entry into the world of fundraising, known as Nervous Dog, Too, creates opportunity for support of nonprofits through the sale of freshly roasted bagged coffee.
Nervous Dog, Too had humble beginnings, as an idea between two friends, Michael Litt and Mike Reiss. When they partnered to create the brand, they didn’t realize a “tip jar thief” would bring their local fundraising business national attention.
In November 2013, a security camera captured a man entering the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar and stealing from the barista’s tip jar while her back was turned. Instead of reporting the theft to the police, Michael Litt, founder of Nervous Dog Coffee organized a food drive for the man.
The incident garnered much attention acting as a catalyst for a national discussion about giving; first picked up by Erin Kennedy for Cleveland’s NBC affiliate WKYC, then nationally on The Today Show with Matt Lauer, NPR, and many other media outlets.
“Compassionately enough, the first person to donate to the food drive was the same barista who had her tips stolen. She brought in a huge box of donations for the Foodbank from her own cupboard,” said Litt.
When the “tip-jar thief” didn’t come back to pick up his food donations, the hundreds of pounds collected was taken to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank to support those facing hunger. From that humble donation, a partnership was formed between Nervous Dog, Too and the Foodbank.
Nervous Dog, Too, is now offering an Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank branded bag of coffee entitled Coffee with a Purpose. A portion of the proceeds from each sale will help provide eight meals to those in need through the Foodbank, where $1 = four meals.
“We couldn’t help the one, so we’ve decided to help the one in seven who will face hunger in our community this year,” said Litt. We are both encouraged and optimistic about our partnership with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and joining them to make an impact, and increase the number of meals given to those struggling with hunger.”
For those interested in purchasing a bag of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank coffee and providing eight meals to those in need, visit acrfb.nervousdogtoo.org. The coffee is roasted locally in Northeast Ohio and can be delivered to anyone in the country.
“In circumstances like this, there is a temptation to respond with our lower nature,” said Dan Flowers President & CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “Making the choice to convert this situation into compassion, love and generosity is representative of the goodness that is always evident in our region. The Foodbank is incredibly proud to partner with the passionate and innovative Nervous Dog, Too that has truly joined the fight to end hunger locally.”