PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The face of West Palm’s Northwood neighborhood is evolving and it attracted new business owners from across the globe who bring traditions that benefit more than the bottom line.
Two months ago Sophia Baratashvili became the owner of Harold's Coffee Lounge on Northwood Road in West Palm’s Northwood neighborhood. In addition to artistic inspirations and upgrades to the establishment, Baratashvili also brought her passion for “love locks.”
“Every county and city in Europe you go to has some kind of ‘love lock’ area – bridges, hearts – and the idea was to bring a little bit of Europe here,” said Baratashvili. “Belief in love.”
The Georgian installed a two-story love lock bank during the first week of December outside the establishment. Baratashvili and her colleague Dan Danieli, who moved to West Palm from France also distributed locks to area businesses and raised enough money to buy approximately 500 toys for the less fortunate during the holidays.
“It’s an obligation,” said Danieli. “It’s not a question of money. It’s a question of willingness.”
And both plan to make philanthropic contributions year-round. Additionally, during the week of Jan. 6, they plan to distribute 1,000 locks to Northwood businesses. Proceeds will support kids.
“It has a meaning,” said Baratashvili.
“Kids are the future of that area,” added Danieli. “Kids are the future of everybody.”