Kind Cafe: More than a Cafe

Located in the bustling heart of downtown Fairhope, Kind Cafe stands as a beacon of warmth and positivity. More than just a spot for delicious nitro cold brews and authentic New York-style bagels, Kind Cafe embodies a mission of spreading kindness with every cup and bite. We visited with owner and visionary Alex Pikul, who graciously answered a few questions about the cafe’s journey and its commitment to spreading kindness.

MEET ALEX PIKUL


Alex is the driving force behind Kind Cafe. Returning to Fairhope post-pandemic, Alex’s vision was to establish a hub dedicated to spreading kindness, thus giving rise to Kind Cafe. Each morning begins with a generous serving of goodwill, reminding patrons that even the smallest acts of kindness can make waves far beyond our community’s borders.

Photography: Chad Riley

Why did you decide to start Kind Cafe? 

AP: In my own experience, throughout the pandemic, everything was becoming transactional, with less focus on making genuine human connections with each other. We wanted to create a brand that refocused our team and customers on each other and gave the community a place where they were wanted and appreciated. And what better way to potentially change someone’s day than starting with coffee or breakfast? 

What’s the meaning behind the name? 

AP: Putting people first. While a lot can be said about Kindness, and maybe it’s overdone sometimes, if you’ll just put the people around you first, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your own life.

What does kindness mean to you?

AP: Harboring a spirit of being helpful, generous, and considerate without expecting anything in return. But most of all, putting other people first.

Tell us more about your quarterly non-profit.

AP: We’ve learned over the years that there are many amazing people here locally in our community doing excellent work for great causes. So, the inspiration around our non-profit of the quarters is to feature these organizations that may be less known to our community and show them how to get involved or help. But it’s also been proven that people who volunteer and give back to the community live longer, happier lives, so it is a way for us to help our community in general not only give back but potentially better themselves in the process.  

Whats your favorite part of living in Fairhope? 

AP: It has got to be the people. Fairhope has welcomed us with open arms, and everyone cares profoundly about the community and wants to give back.

What all do we need to know about the annual Spread Kindness event? 

AP: It’ll be May 25 this year. We do it in May because May is mental health awareness month, so the event has evolved into a market for non-profits and local vendors that donate to these non-profits. We aim to raise awareness about these non-profits’ extraordinary work and inspire our community to get involved and give back. The event is always lots of fun, with music, food, and shopping, plus all Kind Cafe sales from that day are split evenly between the non-profits in attendance.  

What is the workplace culture like at Kind Cafe? 

AP: Transparent, fast-paced, and fun. I’ve worked at many restaurants, and they are typically not very healthy places to work. There is lots of harassment and aggressive cultures, so when I designed the employee experience at Kind, I wanted to ensure we put our team first and that it was a safe, healthy work environment where each employee would feel like they were the owner and take the initiative as owners. We do many things differently from traditional restaurants, and the results show. We have zero turnover in an industry with very high turnover, and most of our team has been with us since we first opened. 

What’s your favorite drink and bagel served at Kind Cafe?

AP: I’m a black coffee kind of guy, specifically cold coffee. So I drink a black nitro cold brew daily and love an everything bagel straight out of the oven. There is nothing like biting into a fresh bagel straight out of the oven.


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