JOYCE — The owner of Joyce’s Blackberry Cafe was brought to tears after customers from across the North Olympic Peninsula more than doubled a scholarship fund that was stolen earlier this month.
A burglar stole $186 from a donation jar at the Blackberry Cafe earlier this month. The money was intended to fund a scholarship honoring the life of Andrew Hinrichs, a former cook who died in a wreck last year.
Roxanne Olsen, who owns the Blackberry Cafe, didn’t ask for help with the fund and was surprised that after only a few days, her customers had raised more than $330 to replenish it.
She said the break-in left her disheartened and she didn’t expect anything positive to come from it.
“There’s always acts of kindness anywhere, but after the break-in, I didn’t expect anyone to do anything like that,” she said. “I know Andy [Hinrichs], he’s smiling now.”
One customer from Sequim paid for lunch and then gave Olsen $100 for the fund Monday, a gesture that brought Olsen to tears.
“She said she had a windfall and didn’t need anything right now,” Olsen said. “It was just kindness. I never expected that.”
It’s not just customers from Joyce who have helped, she said; it’s customers from across the Peninsula who heard about the break-in.
During the break-in, the thief threw a rock through the window in the restaurant’s front door. The burglar did not set off either of the alarms in the business, Olsen said.
That will probably cost about $350 to replace, she said.
But the money donated will not go toward that, she said; instead, she will use money out of her own pocket to repair the door.
Donation money “is going straight to Andy,” she said. “The money wasn’t stolen from the door; it was Andy’s fund, and if Andy’s fund grows, then yee-haw.”
Olsen said it wouldn’t be right for her to use that money to repair the door.
Her insurance deductible is $500, so she has to pay the full cost.
“Regardless, I’ll pay for the door out of pocket, and I’m OK with that,” she said, adding that she is thrilled to see the fund grow.
Since the March 3 burglary, Olsen has installed new security features she hopes will deter future break-ins.
She has also changed some of her business practices.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.