Military Memorabilia at Cup O’ Joe Coffee Company
by: Stuart Price
Posted: Jun 5, 2023 / 10:25 PM CDT
Updated: Jun 5, 2023 / 10:25 PM CDT
JOPLIN, Mo. — An area businessman is getting a lot more than just compliments from his customers.
He's now getting welcome unsolicited donations from some of them.
"Bags, a lot of patches from units as well as photos of members in the service," said Dustin Drilling, owner, founder, Cup O’ Joe Coffee Company.
Dustin Drilling, who opened "Cup O’ Joe Coffee Company" near 9th and Maiden Lane around the first of the year, is getting more than just compliments from his customers on the food and drink inside his caffeinated military shrine.
"But now it seems locals are coming in and bringing items that were their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, they’re kind of making it their own shop which is really neat. And then, you know, when they come in they say, ‘Hey, there's grandpa's helmet’ or whatever. So we’re super excited to display those items for the community as well," said Drilling.
He decorated the drive-thru business with his own military memorabilia, but now customers are helping him to add to the military motif. This World War Two helmet is a good example.
"The most recent they said they really didn't really know what to do with it. It's been in their garage for years and years, and they didn't want to throw it away, and they don't want to sell it because some sort of profit with that. But they know people come through here all the time and see it and appreciate it, they just want to kind of pay that forward in that kind of manner," said Drilling.
"Probably had it for seven years now, just been sitting in the garage," said Randy Alsup, Army Veteran, Donated Officer Mess Kit.
Randy Alsup, who's also an Army veteran, saw this World War Two Officer Mess Kit at a garage sale and bought it because he was afraid it would just end up in the trash.
When he and his wife went through the coffee shop recently, he knew exactly where it belonged.
"I didn't have any plans for it whatsoever, so when I saw this and saw the theme, his little mini museum that he has here, I thought it's the perfect place," said Alsup.
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