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Coffee shop feels the love in wake of theft

By Staff | Jan 14, 2020

On Saturday a South Cape coffee house was rocked to its core when someone made off with its cash bag during the Cape Coral Arts and Music Festival.

Now, Perk & Brew is feeling the love from customers and fellow business owners who shared their pain, giving the owner a true sense of how the community is behind them.

On Saturday, around 3 p.m., the shop at 1021 Cape Coral Parkway was selling coffee and rolls in front of its location at the festival when it someone took the bag with $700 in cash.

Owner Theresa Knazec said she momentarily left the bag unattended when she went inside. A minute later, it was gone.

“There was nobody around, I went in and ran back out. Still nobody around and the bag was gone,” Knazec said. “The only tip I got was from someone who saw a family of four behind the stand where the money was.”

The lady who gave the tip said it was very strange that they were hovering around behind the booth, which was where her dog was, and they were making such a distraction about the dog, Knazec said.

“It looked like they used my dog behind the booth as an excuse to go there. They were the only people there when I was gone,” Knazec said. “I thought just before then that I really needed to get the money inside because it was near the end of the day.”

The bag also contained tips, Knazec said, adding it wasn’t just stealing from the company, but also her workers, on the biggest sales day of the year.

“I have a family with four kids, my business partner just had a baby, another is saving for a wedding and another saving for college. There were people and faces that money belonged to,” Knazec said.

While the theft was horrible, the response from the community has been incredible. People have been coming to the shop in record numbers, buying gift cards and meals to make up for the lost money.

The Laser Lounge Spa in Fort Myers even gave the store an added bonus, all the money they lost, and some coupons for free facials.

“Other people have stepped up to help, and another came in with a news camera and gave us $700. It was unbelievable,” Knazec said. “People were buying gift cards and tipping heavily to show their love. That people would do that for us is overwhelming.”

Knazec said it has given her faith in humanity once again, and has also taught her a lesson.

“It started as an ugly thing that became a beautiful thing and made me proud to live in the community,” Knazec said. “We won’t do the money bag anymore. I have a fanny pack now. I definitely will be more careful.”

Perk & Brew is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for brunch. For more information, call 542-6080.