Irving Shop Offers Free Coffee to Foster Political Discussions

An Irving coffee shop is trying to encourage the one thing most of us are trying to avoid -- talking politics with those we disagree with

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There's nothing like a good cup of coffee and conversation.

At Irving's Pax and Beneficia they're creating an environment where you can have even the toughest talks.

"When we sit down and actually listen and understand with the intent of listening and learning I think it makes us all better," said co-founder Mouyyad Abdulhadi.

The coffee shop started "Coffee and Discourse" as the election grew near, offering customers a buy one coffee, get one free if you will have a meaningful conversation with someone you disagree with.

"People are still shy about having these conversations in person and aren't comfortable having these deep conversations in a public space versus behind a screen," Abdulhadi said.

It's a welcome idea for the store's regular customers.

"Now more than ever we need venues to have those kinds of conversations," said frequent customer and teacher Michael Melpiedi.

"I think COVID really encourages people to insolate and [they] may be a little more involved on the internet and online and I think that's about as unhealthy as it gets," said customer Christian Walker.

"You have to work harder than ever to have a real connection with people, a real conversation with people," Melpiedi said.

We found connection is something most of us are craving.

"I think we're all called to talk to each other, love each other and interact with each other," customer Nicole Arcement said.

We may just not know how to connect when there's a disconnect.

"Especially when the Black Lives Matter movement was going on during the summer a lot of hard conversations have had to be had," said pharmacy student Noemie Kanene.

Face-to-face, coffee-in-hand, may be the best way to find common ground.

"We still have a long way to go but we're making progress," Kanene said.

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