When she’s not brewing coffee, Nora Boyer is warming the hearts and stomachs of nearby law enforcement.
She has also included the Brooksville Police Department and the Hernando County Courthouse, both down the road from the coffee shop, located at 1147 S. Broad St.
Boyer, 19, feels police are currently under heavy scrutiny, and bringing them a complimentary cup of Joe is the least she can do.
“It’s just to show them that they are appreciated in the community,” Boyer said. “We actually look at them, and we’re honoring them. We want to show them that they matter to us.”
And officers can’t thank Boyer enough for the support.
Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said acts like this mean a lot to he and his deputies, because sometimes they go through difficult days, which people may not realize.
“To say we appreciate it is probably an understatement,” Nienhuis said. “Law enforcement has gone through a lot in the last several months and it is a very scary job under normal circumstances. But of late, it has gotten much scarier at times.”
Boyer thought of the idea when she was tasked with helping spread the coffee shop’s brand. In addition to coffee, she dropped off card coupons for officers.
After a few deliveries, it had become more than a promotional strategy.
“I knew they would be thankful, but there’s a different feel whenever you’re meeting someone face to face,” Boyer said. “You’re like, ‘OK, giving them something like that joy is such a gift.’”
In addition to Boyer and the Coffee Barn’s generosity, Hernando County police have experienced other acts of kindness from the public.
Nienhuis mentioned that a father and his daughter approached a group of deputies at a restaurant and prayed with them this week. On Tuesday, a couple dropped off cookies and a thank you note to the sheriff’s office.
Nienhuis said deeds like this are symbolic of the support system in Brooksville and Hernando County.
“The vast majority of the citizens [in Hernando County] who live here are good citizens and are gonna do the right thing even when nobody’s looking,” he said.
It’s easy for officers to lose a positive outlook on people sometimes, Nienhuis said. But when the community supports them, it keeps their perspective on track.
“I don’t think the public realizes how important that is for us.”
Boyer plans on going to the Hernando County Detention Center next. She said she still has a few more locations to visit before her work is done.
“I want to do it at least three times a week or however much I can,” Boyer said. “It’s hard to do it when you’re one person. Hopefully I can continue this for a little longer.”