Coffee shop owners forgive teens who graffitied fence, let them paint over it

Alaina and Keith Schwartz, proprietors of a coffee shop in Nashville, Tennessee, have gone viral for their positive response to graffiti spray-painted on their business.

Alaina Schwartz told TODAY Food that she and her kid noticed the graffiti on a fence around the coffee shop’s garbage on Saturday morning as they drove up to Caliber Coffee Co.

Graffiti-covered fence
On Saturday morning, Alaina Schwartz, co-owner of a coffee business, spotted graffiti near the dumpsters. Alaina Schwartz provided this image.
“‘They did something awful,’ my six-year-old kid said. ‘You can’t do that,’ says the narrator.” Schwartz remembers something. She and her spouse, on the other hand, were adamant about turning a bad into a positive: They put out a call on Facebook, asking local muralists if they’d be interested in painting over the graffitied area after reviewing surveillance footage and verifying that the graffiti was spray-painted by several adolescents.

Graffiti-covered fence
Initials and drawings were painted on a fence as part of the graffiti. Courtesy Schwartz, Alaina
“I was thinking, ‘How can we turn this into something positive?'” Schwartz said. “Let’s make this amazing, we thought… ‘Hey, Nashville artists, we’re looking for a mural, we had folks try to paint one last night, we’re looking for something a little different,’ I said.”

Schwartz had stated that she was searching for a “positive or uplifting” work of art, but the post resulted in an even more unexpected outcome.

“Those lads came into our business the next day,” Schwartz recalled. “They approached and asked, ‘Can I talk with the manager?’ ‘Yes, that’s me,’ said my husband, who was up there, and they said, ‘Can we speak privately?’ They also appear to be scared. I’m terrified to death. ‘We’re very sorry,’ they apologised.”


Instead of filing charges, a Georgia eatery gives a job to a would-be burglar.
Her husband calmed the boys, telling them that it “wasn’t a wonderful choice,” but that “we’ve all made errors,” according to Schwartz.

We’ve all been there, and we’ve all done something wrong. ‘I appreciate you coming in and apologising.’ We were really taken aback when they returned “According to Schwartz. “The lads then volunteered to… make things right. They were like, ‘What can we do, can we paint over it?’ (My husband) was like, ‘If you want to, you don’t have to.’ And so they came back and repainted over it. It was amazing.”

Read more •

Suggested Reading