The Brightside: Brewing up kindness in Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md. – The Olde Towne Cafe in Downtown Salisbury has a new owner who is brewing up something special… a blend of coffee and kindness that’s energizing the community.

Vicente Hernandez bought Olde Towne Cafe back in July of 2019.

“I felt like I was supposed to buy it,” Hernandez said. “I know I can’t change the world in a grand scheme of things, but I can do this. I can love on you and then that love will ripple and ripple and then long term, it will change the world.”

You see, Hernandez didn’t always have it easy. He lost both of his parents in high school.

“I was just in this lonely space of I don’t know what life has for me,” he said.

In what was one of the darkest points of his life, Hernandez found comfort in a coffee shop.

“There was a place called Bus Boys and Poets in DC and that was like a second home,” he said.

Hernandez would perform spoken word poetry at that coffee shop and pour out his feelings to any baristas that would listen.

Hernandez said, “They had so many people working there so anybody I could talk to was cool.”

It was an experience that changed his life forever.

“Since 17, I’ve been chasing this thing like I gotta have a coffee shop so I can love on somebody, I gotta have a coffee shop so I can love on somebody,” he said.

Hernandez has made his dreams a reality at Olde Towne Cafe. He now works to spread love and nourishment to anyone that walks through his door…and that includes the homeless population and construction workers. Hernandez uses a giftcard system to do this. The system relies on those who want to pay it forward.

Hernandez said, “It just became a thing where people wanted to buy, they would ask how many people, and then they would buy like 17 gift cards or ten gift cards just to feed the guys for breakfast.”

Hernandez feels a mural that now graces his shop’s wall states his mission best.

“It’s a Dr. Seuss quote that we’ve known for years…that, ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change its not,'” he said.

So the next time you’re looking for the perfect blend of coffee to warm your body and your soul, look no further than the Olde Towne Cafe in Downtown Salisbury.

Categories: Brightside, Local News, Maryland