HAMPSTEAD — Edward Goyette can’t believe his eyes when he looks at the front of his coffeehouse.
“It’s like a mountain of food,” said Goyette, the owner of BeanTowne Coffee House.
Goyette is looking at the nearly 800 food items his customers have donated to the food pantry at St. Anne Church. The shop’s work with the food pantry and other community organizations led to national recognition recently.
BeanTowne Coffee House was honored by “The Steve Harvey Show” earlier this month as the best coffee shop in the United States for community service.
BeanTowne was nominated by a customer, then won a poll of the show’s viewers. Goyette flew to Chicago to receive the award last week. The show will air on Friday.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Goyette said. “Doing community service and outreach is incredibly important to us. We’re glad we’ve become a real good social contact for people. We want to come up with creative ways to solve problems.”
He also is proud of the work his crew did last year to support a girl who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“Someone came to me and said all they need is a fulltime wheelchair,” he said. “It would only be $800, so I thought we could pay for this ourselves.”
The shop sold $10 coffees in hand-decorated cups with good luck messages. They ended up selling 160 of the cups in just a week and a half.
“I was blown away,” he said. “I didn’t believe how eager people were to help her.”
This year, he heard from a mother whose daughter has Tay-Sachs disease, an incurable disease.
“The girl wasn’t supposed to live past 2, but she just had her third birthday this week,” he said.
Goyette put a hat on the counter and encouraged customers to donate to those working to find a cure for the disease. Within a few weeks, they had raised $1,700.