Friday, 5 January 2018

A Coffee With a Difference, From Jacob with Love

Jacob’s Brew has been open only a few months yet everyone seems to have heard about
it. For Jacob is the boy who lived (and he is very real unlike Harry Potter!) Time and again, his story was shared on local media and he has by now become much like a star, including having his handprint set in Baystreet’s Walk of Fame.

He suffered through a serious brain infection, hemorrhages and a coma, as well as four brain surgeries, yet Sarah and Sam Cachia’s then fifteen-year-old son came out a winner, striving to live as best he could instead of feeling beat. Together with his very supportive parents, he started a Facebook page called Survivors Malta that eventually turned into a group that even outgrew the confines of a chat room and spilled into the real world. In time, Survivors Malta became a fully-fledged NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation).

Having spent so many hours a week meeting patients, survivors and supporters in the ITU and other places over coffee, Jacob, who resumed his studies following his illness, decided he might like to open up his own coffee shop. He could then provide a much-needed place-to-go, not only as an informal and homey headquarters for his own NGO but also for anyone else that needed support, for who better understands pain than those who have been through it?

At first Jacob’s was a distant dream, which I remember reading about at As dreams do sometimes come true, this one very fortunately did and Jacob’s Brew opened up in Marsaskala in the summer of 2017.

My interview at the café was set for the 30th of December so the shop was still decorated for Christmas, simply and in good taste, including a homemade flat Christmas tree on one wall, twinkling slowly, radiating calm.

In fact, everything about Jacob’s Brew exudes an aura of peace that I rarely feel elsewhere. Maybe it is the fact that I know the background to the story that makes me feel so happy in this place. For Jacob’s Brew, run by Jacob (aka Titanium Man) and his parents, is a café with a difference. It thrives not only on its inviting atmosphere and delicious meals but more so on the well-known fact that it is a Pay-It-Forward business.

It helps the NGO Survivors Malta through donating part of the profits from the business and at the end of 2017, the coffee shop presented the charity organisation with EUR500 to kickstart the project Jacob’s Coffee Run, whereby sandwiches and beverages will be delivered to families of patients in the waiting area of the ITU.

However, the Pay-It-Forward motto of the coffee shop extends to non-monetary help so every cash receipt at Jacob’s Brew is stamped with the shop logo and can be passed on to anyone going through a rough time for a free coffee and listening ear when they visit.

The coffee shop utilises its back room for support meetings as well as NGO activities and as a meeting hub for other local groups, always with the theme of charity and giving at heart. Community-based projects like the Tessie Montebello Book Club and Craft&Coffee For Charity are welcome regulars at the coffee shop’s book corner and meeting room respectively.
Me at Jacob's Brew

Meanwhile, for those of us lucky enough to be looking for coffee more than support, the shop makes a mean hot chocolate drink and rainbow cake, takes bookings for High Teas and provides breakfast and lunch worthy of five stars on Trip Advisor, so if you haven’t already you really should pop into the coffee shop that will ensure to Pay-It-Forward on your behalf.

Link to Jacob’s story:

Link to Jacob’s Brew’s Facebook Page:

Links to Facebook group and pages mentioned in the article:

Survivors Malta

Tessie Montebello Book Club

Craft&Coffee for Charity

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