A cup of Joe with a side of kindness: Staten Island café's pay-it-forward post-it tradition

Aside from a dose of caffeine, a cup of coffee can do wonders at the cozy Beans & Leaves Cafè on Staten Island.

A frame on the wall is plastered with post-it notes that can either be a customer's little pick-me-up or the reason their entire day is made.

Customers pay it forward by spending $1 dollar for a sticky note that anyone can then rip off and bring to the register to apply to a cup of Joe. 

It doesn't matter if the person on the receiving end lost their job or if they're just having a bad day— the coffee shop will take care of the remaining balance.

"Even if you're in need of a piece of food, we will not discriminate," Coppola said. "We will do whatever we can to help."

This small gesture, paired with mighty words of encouragement, can go a long way and it's all in honor of John Flanagan, a 23-year-old employee who passed away in 2016.

It's the cafe's way of commemorating him while giving back to the community, a community that's become a second family to many.

Linda Gordon stops by every day.

"It's my ‘Cheers,’ Gordon said. "Everybody knows my name. I come in, I get my stuff, and say, ‘Hi.’ It's just an amazing place to be."