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Damage from attempted burglary at Tampa coffee shop turned into tribute to health care workers

What started out as an attempted burglary at a Tampa business turned out to have a silver lining after an artist transformed damage into healthcare tribute.

TAMPA, Fla. — While most businesses are shutting their doors for coronavirus, Buddy Brew in South Tampa has found a way to continue to serve customers. Doing what they can to stay afloat, co-owner Susan Ward says she was surprised someone would try to steal from them.

“We got a call in the middle of the night that our alarm was going off. Someone threw a rock and shattered the window,” she said.

Learning of the attempted break-in, local artist Ron Francis immediately got to work. Creating this tribute to healthcare workers.

“I had mentioned the poster series I was doing giving thanks and praise to the first responders and those in the medical industry. All of those putting their lives on the line,” Francis said.  

The message is in sign language is clear. Hands wearing gloves sending prayers, peace and messages of love.

“I was working on posters I could put around town to support the way that I know how. To let them know that they’re being thought of and loved. The best way now is through gestures rather than words. So much stuff gets twisted,” Francis said.  

What someone meant for bad, turned out to have a silver lining. A thank you to healthcare workers here in Tampa Bay and across the globe.

“It really fits the heart of our brand. Our motto is brew good, do good. For us, it’s all about the quality of the product we’re serving. The heart of it all is to serve people,” Ward said.  

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