Grab a sticky note and share a message of positivity at this Houston cafe

Monday, May 29, 2017
Restaurant spreads positivity with Post-It wall
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For more than a year, customers at a local restaurant have left notes of encouragement for strangers.

LEAGUE CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Most restaurants want to be known for their cuisine, but the Red Oak Café is more than just savory servings.

"You're not just being nourished with your food. You're being nourished in your soul," said Red Oak Café Customer Beth Lautieri.

It starts when customers walk in the door. A scripture on the wall reads "They will be called oaks of righteousness." It's a Bible verse owner Kim Oravetz lives by.

"It's a promise to my family that they all will be called oaks of righteousness in his time," said Oravetz.

This verse goes for all of her family, including her son, who tragically died in a car accident in 2007.

"Your whole world falls out from under you," said Oravetz.

Two years after that trying time, Oravetz listened to a pastor's sermon at church.

"And he kept telling amazing stories about how God speaks to you and is alive," she recalled.

That day, the sermon spoke to Oravetz because the pastor's very story was about a man who died in a car accident who had found God. That man was her son.

"I knew at the moment the Lord had my son," remembered Oravetz.

Years later, Oravetz opened the Red Oak Cafe, named after the tree she planted in her son's honor. Recently, she pulled out the card her pastor sent the week he delivered that sermon.

"It was the scripture of Isaiah 61.3, which was 'Turning ashes into beds of roses', and the very next line is the scripture I have on my wall here, but I didn't prepare it to be that way," said Oravetz.

For Oravetz, God spoke to her again. She knew her restaurant had a purpose -- to spread positivity onto others, including a server who started a sticky-note project in her restrooms.

"I wanted to spread the love and encouragement of God's word to people and spread love and joy," explained Red Oak Café server Vanessa Matala.

For more than a year, customers have left messages for complete strangers.

"Someone that's in a hard place, they can go in there and find some inspiration," said customer Suzanne Ricketts.

"There's always a moment when you spot something that you know is just for you," added Lautieri.

Because it's not just about the food, it's about impacting people in a positive way.

"I want them to feel like they were welcomed here. I want them to feel like they were loved," said Oravetz.

The Red Oak Café is open for breakfast and lunch. Oravetz always keeps a pen and sticky notes in the restroom for others to write positive letters, and she says she has never once had to filter the messages because every note has remained positive.

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