In October 2016, a Maltese mother took the first step to making her son’s dream come true… while he was in surgery. Back then, Sarah Cachia and her husband had announced that they’d be embarking on the personal and financial sacrifice of opening a coffee shop for their son Jacob to run. Now, Jacob’s Brew is finally ready to go.
Jacob, known as Titanium Man, was diagnosed with sinusitis at 15 years. That was back in 2013, when, after five days of treatment, he suffered severed fits and was rushed for an emergency MRI. Doctors found that the right side of his brain had been infected, entering his brain through his sinuses in a rare condition known as Meningoencephalitis. Numerous complications later, Jacob was given a 50/50 chance of survival. Over the next couple of years, he suffered two major haemorrhages, two bouts in the ITU, four life-threatening brain surgeries which left him with extensive brain damage and a partial disability, and a coma. After he miraculously recovered from the harrowing experience, his parents wanted to make sure that his dream to run a coffee shop finally comes true.
In a long and very emotional post uploaded to Facebook on Friday morning, Jacob’s mother bore it all. She retold the story that had started all the way back in 2013, also explaining why the coffee shop was the crux of their plans. According to Sarah, Jacob had gone from “a shy and awkward teenage boy” to “this extrovert sociable young man who thrived on meeting new people wherever he went”.
Over the years, the Cachia family met a lot of survivors with similar stories from all over the island, and meeting them at cafés was always the best option. “Jacob joked that we had met so many survivors over a coffee, that we might as well open a coffee shop,” Sarah said. “Well this got me thinking; what if I were to fulfil my son’s coffee shop dream whilst at the same time provide a place to go where survivors can meet? And so Jacob’s Brew came to be that place!”
Jacob’s Brew officially opened its doors on Friday 28th July, and Sarah explained how they’ve been working around the clock thanks to the large number of customers who have been visiting lately. Apart from the amazing story behind the coffee shop, Jacob’s Brew has also brought an adorable concept to Marsaskala; Pay It Forward.
The idea behind this is very simple, but extremely effective. As Sarah explains, “when you pay your bill (no extra charges), we will stamp your receipt with our PAY IT FORWARD stamp. You will have the opportunity to pass this receipt on to a family that you feel may need support. When they come to our coffee shop and give us the stamped receipt, we will offer them a free pot of coffee or tea.” An impressive number of patrons have already kicked the initiative, with the coffee shop sharing dozens of photos of people happily holding their stamped receipts.
Jacob’s Brew will be open every single day, and offers anything from platters and soups to an entire section where you can create your own sandwich. The family has been sharing updates, photos and videos on a very regular basis on the coffee shop’s Facebook page, and it seems like the whole thing is already a hit.