Our Team


john-sweeneyJohn Sweeney John is from Cork, Ireland and founded Suspended Coffees back in March, 2013. John is married with 4 children and manages the Suspended Coffees Facebook page and other administative tasks.

ta hen Tracey Hennessey EA Based in Elkhorn, WI, originally from Chicago. Enrolled agent, accountant, tax-preparer, immigration specialist. Single mother of 5. Working primarily on corporate structure, board of directors and tax-exempt status for suspended coffees.

What is Suspended Coffees

The idea of a suspended coffee is simple:

suspended logo SCbrown-01

When you buy a coffee, you pay for a second one. The barista gives you your coffee, then logs the second coffee as “suspended” (meaning that the transaction has been paused, or not yet completed – the money has been received, but the coffee has not yet been delivered).


When someone who can’t afford a coffee comes in, they can ask whether there are any “suspended” coffees. The barista checks the log and, if there are any pre-paid coffees, the person is given a free coffee. The transaction is then considered complete.


The tradition of suspended coffee dates back more than a century to Naples, though it declined in popularity after World War II. During the recent global economic crisis, the practice was revived and, in the age of social media, suspended coffee quickly became a global phenomenon.


Who is eligible to receive the free coffee/food? The premise is that anyone in need can seek this out. Each business will need to decide who they feel is in need. We don’t believe it is for us to judge who is in need and who is not. Ultimately, if someone is approaching you to ask for a suspended coffee, they are probably in need in some way. When we say ‘in need’, it’s not just someone who is homeless. It may be a single mother of 4 children who can’t afford coffee that month in the grocery shopping. She may just need a coffee to get her through the day and a break while her kids are all at school. You may have a man walk in, well-groomed and dressed in a business suit… you may not think from appearances that he is ‘in need”, but he may be on skid row and in his 16th week of job hunting. It can be for a student struggling with exams. It’s all about using your judgment and spreading a little kindness by paying it forward.


“It’s About More Than The Coffee”