The Daily Grind’s pay it forward act creates positivity in community

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Photo by Ella Hamilton

Employees Victoria Amundson and Makena Kath are hard at work in the Daily Grind. The Daily grind is serving up coffee and on their 215th day of pay it forward gifts.

Ella Hamilton, Social Media Editor

The Coronavirus has had a major impact on a lot of small businesses, The Daily Grind is just one of them. However, despite the challenges of COVID-19, some people have still been inspired to help out. The Daily Grind in downtown Stillwater has had pay it forward gifts called in everyday for over 200 days. The Daily Grind has seen many changes in their business and in the community due to the Coronavirus.

The pay it forward act is ultimately an act of kindness that has gone on for over 200 days. Each day someone from the community has called in with a pay it forward gift to pay for people’s coffee. 

“I think the pay it forward movement reinforces the sense of community and has been a very positive thing in a year of less than positive news. … It seemed natural that other customers, regulars and visitors alike, would want to build up some community spirit during these isolating times. What is amazing to me though, is that it has gone for more than 200 days and any time it even comes close to ending people contact [owners]  Megan and Tim to keep it going. I think it speaks to how much we all need each other in good times and in bad times,” Manager of the Valley Bookseller Gretchen West said. 

The Coronavirus took a big hit to The Daily Grind’s business like many other businesses. The Coronavirus also affected people and the community, it made the community feel more isolated and disconnected. 

I thought it was really nice that she did it, I had no, and I still, have no expectations of it. I don’t ask people for it. It’s just been a very organic, people just want to have that feel good thing for people.”

— Owner Megan Palm

Owner Megan Palm explained, “It was pretty hard our business dropped about 60% if not more. It was really quiet, people were coming in crying, it was pretty depressing,” while talking about how The Daily grind was first affected. 

The first pay it forward gift was given the Saturday before everything got shut down in March. Anita White called in to give $100 to pay for the first $100 in coffee. Since then, it has created a domino effect and many more people have also given. 

“She just wanted to throw something down so that you know the people that got the coffee would have a little bit of a better day. And then it just spiraled after that,” Palm said.

The Daily Grind has been open for almost 28 years, owners Tim and Megan Palm have been the third owners. They have worked hard to make it a place where the focus is on the community.

Palm said she wanted a business that had regulars who frequented it. She explained that the coffee was great, but she really had a focus on the people and a place with a lot of energy.

The Valley Bookseller, which has been a bookstore in downtown Stillwater since 1990, is connected to The Daily Grind. With having the coffee shop in the bookstore it has been beneficial to both businesses. 

“Coffee and books just go together!” West said. “Customers tend to visit one place and then the next so I think it has been a mutually beneficial relationship.”

 “We had a lot of people that weren’t from around here. It was benefiting them, because they were already coming in to buy coffee, it just was purchased for them. So for us it was, it’s a great feel good, it helps me in the morning, and starts our day in a really positive way. The whole purpose of it is to help the community,” Palm said.