John’s Big Heart


Three Bags Full has been a part of the effort to eliminate hunger in our country. It’s a massive undertaking, but one that owner of Three Bags Full Cafe, John takes personally. Growing up in a home without a father, his mother was sole provider. He and his two other siblings were aware they didn’t eat like other kids, but never acknowledged it out loud.

It was just something they didn’t speak of, since on some level, even as little ones they realized Mom was working hard to give them what she could. Oatmeal and eggs were often rotated as dinner and breakfast. These are memories that John works to prevent other children in America and around the world from having.

The other day a tow truck pulled up outside the Cafe and hooked up a late model pickup truck that had been illegally parked for 2 days outside the shop next door. I guess someone finally called the electric crane company since it seemed to be a company vehicle. It appeared the company truck had been abandoned. Tough financial times can have many faces.

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The 200 Year Flood

Evergreen, 1910You can’t work in a service industry without encountering situations that you couldn’t even dream up. The other day I came in at my usual time and found Billy and John in the kitchen, strategically placing pans to catch the water that was dripping down from the ceiling. We had a torrential storm the night before and apparently the roof had given its best effort, but failed.

The roofing company promised to be out to look over the situation between 10 and noon. In the meantime the rain had pretty much eased up, the floor was mopped, and things seemed to be under control. It wasn’t a pretty sight, like something local tree trimming Chesapeake VA would deal with after a storm, but Billy was able to work around the assorted catch pots and no one in the dining room suspected a thing. That is until Hannah (Banana), our new girl at Three Bags Full Cafe felt like it was her duty to tell flood stories to anyone who would listen.

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Thanksgiving Every Thursday

attitude of gratitude

Every Thursday is Thanksgiving at Three Bags Full Cafe. I don’t mean we serve turkey and all the trimmings, I mean we show our gratitude. Many years ago, long before I arrived on the scene, John, the owner began opening the cafe’s doors to anyone in need of a hot meal on Thursdays. It started with Thanksgiving Day back in 1995 and has been a weekly tradition since. According to John it doesn’t have to be November to celebrate good eats, each other and count our blessings.

Our Thursday tradition goes like this: John asks folks to pay whatever they can afford for their meals and a bill is just a formality. Some choose to pay full price, and even a bit more while others pay a buck. John has earned his place in heaven according to the town’s people. He must take a hit, but he doesn’t see it that way. Just a few days ago, he had his vehicle fleet inspected to see about improving his locally owned family run Dayton Limo Company. He explains that with improvements to the cars it’s a way he can provide a better service and give back more to the community.  Continue reading » Thanksgiving Every Thursday

A Day In The Life Of A Waitress

Server Waitress GirlsWaking up at 5:30 am has never been my thing. I do it anyway. I need to be at the cafe by 6:00 to be sure the dining room is set-up for our 6:30 am breakfast opening. This is why they pay me the big bucks, (joking here) because none of the other wait staff would even consider coming in before 7:00.

I find this fascinating because when I used to work for my friend’s St Louis party bus company, I would often find myself working strange hours just to make sure the vehicles were ready for clients the next day. This meant going above and beyond working normal hours, but I have to say I’ve always been fine doing that. Anyways, back to work at the restaurant!

The cleaning service came in during the night and did their twice monthly deep sweep. The windows are free of fingerprints and smudges. The dust is gone from the shelves and the floor has a brand new sparkle. The coffee is brewed, and the pastries look too good to pass up, the chairs are down and the tables and counter wiped clean. Salt and peppers and other condiments are full, coffee is brewed (Did I say that already?) and I turn over the closed sign to say OPEN at precisely 6:30.

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