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Pay It Forward

The past two weeks have been pretty busy for Justin and I! The marketing team at Aroma has been operating on a new schedule this year. We’re following a six weeks on and two weeks off schedule. What that means is that every eight weeks, we spend the first two looking back and evaluating the last six weeks, and then brainstorming and preparing for the following six. During the six weeks on, we have a theme, or specific campaign. During the two weeks off, Aroma has time to simply be a coffee shop and cafe. So far, we like this process. It’s allowing us more time to focus on what we’re learning, to improve, and to reflect. It also allows our campaigns to be stronger and more worthwhile.

Starting April 2, our theme for the following six weeks on was Pay It Forward. Around this time last year, Aroma launched a Pay It Forward initiative that is still going. Initially, it was received with excitement, but as the year progressed we’d seen less and less interest. The idea was that patrons could buy anything off the menu and pin the receipt up on a cork board, [which other customers could then pick up and present to the cashier]. Despite being friendly and generous to their friends, however, Pay It Forward isn’t a very known concept here. Giving to a stranger can sometimes seem very odd. Receipts look like, well . . . receipts, and the path to the board was awkward and not easily accessible.

At the Aroma, we believe that taking care of one another is one way for others to smell, become, and spread Christ. So, naturally we wanted to take this old campaign and breathe some new life into it. We chose specific menu items to create Pay It Forward Meal and Drink sets, and placed the cork board at the front of the store in an area where people often browse the menu. We hope this will make it easier for people who might otherwise feel awkward about picking up a freebie, and perhaps give our customers a better chance to bless others through a simple gift.

Additionally, the baristas at Aroma have chosen three charities they would like to support; The Garden of Hope Foundation, The Child Welfare League Foundation and Taiwan Happy Learning Association. From April 3-28, customers have the opportunity to help Aroma also pay it forward. By using coffee beans, customers can vote for their favorite charity. At the end of it, Aroma will make a donation to the winning charity. Part of the donation will come directly from the Pay It Forward Meal and Drink sets that patrons can purchase, but we’ll also be giving away 15% of our profits made on International Pay It Forward Day, April 28!

We are so excited to help better teach our community what it means to bless people through paying it forward, and hope that it won’t stop here. We are also excited to have the opportunity to empower the staff to support local causes they believe in. Hey, we even hope that you’ll get excited with us.

Please keep us, and this campaign, in your prayers as we move forward with it!

* * * Check back in a few weeks to see pictures and results! * * *

This article originated from and was used with permission by Justin Siemens.

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