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Letters From Home: Curbside Coffee Offers A Taste Of Normalcy

Joe (pictured right) and his wife Kelly Capatosto have been serving socially distant espresso from their home. All proceeds go to help service workers.
Kelly Capatosto/Watercolor by Keely C McKinley
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Joe (pictured right) and his wife Kelly Capatosto have been serving socially distant espresso from their home. All proceeds go to help service workers.

WOSU's project Letters From Home is sharing stories from isolation—how Ohioans are getting through this pandemic, alone and together. In addition to adding new challenges to our lives, the coronavirus has also complicated old ones.

While restaurants and bars can finally re-open their patios to patrons, two Columbus residents have been offering coffee al fresco for the duration of isolation. 

Joe Capatosto, who works for Crimson Cup Coffee, was furloughed early on in the pandemic. He and his wife Kelly decided to turn his skills and their additional freetime into a homebrewed coffee shop, run out of their window. Kelly wrote in to Letters from Home about this venture.

Joe says the idea started as somewhat of a joke, with Joe handing coffee out the window to a friend. That exchange, while seemingly small, was a positive one for the pair.

"It just kind of gave us a sense of return to normalcy and some positivity," Joe says.

Other friends who saw this exchange on Instagram stopped by, and this gave the Capatostos an idea to transform into something that could also support the community through Service! Relief Kitchen.

Service! is a recent-formed collective of industry workers that provides food for other displaced service industry employees. Donating proceeds from their walk-up coffee bar seemed a perfect way for the Capatostos to help others in the industry.

"They made it a win win... for us to be able to give back money to them, in exchange for the coffee donated to us," Joe says.

Coffee bean donations started coming in from around the city, as well as coffee shops in New York, so it's mostly their time and porch they've donated to the public.

"I really didn't have to buy many supplies at all," Joe says. 

Joe is now back to work with Crimson Cup, but still dedicates a couple days a week to his porch-side coffee service. He isn't planning to close the window anytime soon.

"As long as it seems to be a positive thing that people are encouraged by and we're still raising donations, then we should keep it going if we can," Joe says.

Joe (pictured right) and his wife Kelly Capatosto have been serving socially distant espresso from their home. All proceeds go to Service! an organization that addresses food insecurity within displaced members of the food service community.
Credit Kelly Capatosto
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Come join our conversation.

This week's prompt features the question: How do you feel about the reopening of businesses and services?

Answer this question using the form below, and try to keep below 1,000 words. Your response may be edited for length and clarity.

WOSU brings you Letters from Home in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art.
WOSU brings you Letters from Home in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art.