Teen left heartbroken as no one visits his coffee shop on opening day

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By stefan armitage

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Social media has rallied behind an 18-year-old entrepreneur who faced every business owner's worst nightmare: an empty coffee shop on opening day.

Tom Oswald, an ambitious young man from Adelaide, Australia, had just graduated from school when he launched his dual cafe and art shop, Homeboy, in July, the Mirror reports. Little did he know, his dreams would momentarily crumble when no one showed up on the big day.

Tom's unique establishment not only offers a variety of coffees and baked goods but also doubles as an art shop where customers can feast their eyes on beautiful artwork. While he was aware that his business journey might be challenging, the empty chairs and vacant tables were a sight he hadn't anticipated... especially on his business' first day.

Turning to TikTok to share his unfortunate experience, Tom released a video captioned: "Opened a café and nobody came," which instantly went viral, garnering over 1.3 million views.

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Credit: TikTok/@homeboy.co

The video showcased the uninhabited coffee shop and untouched food. One poignant shot featured Tom with his head in his hands, visibly distraught.

But the digital sphere had his back. Commenters flooded his video with heartwarming messages and pragmatic business advice.

"Me checking flights just to come and support this man's café," one user said. Another advised, "Hold a small event! Advertise, send out local flyers, put up decorations. Reel them in one time and they'll come back if your café is good!"

Other users sympathizers with Tom, sharing their own experiences of attempting to launch a business: "My dad just opened a small Greek food shop in Unley - always been his dream and NOTHING is sadder than seeing it empty - we’ll come by soon."

Speaking to news.com.au previously, Tom had stated: "The café can get a little bit quiet at times, but it is something I fully expect and do not get down about it. Quiet days give me time to reflect and research and busy days teach me the importance of efficiency."

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The online community rallied behind the budding businessman. Credit: Frank Lee / Getty

His resilience and the massive TikTok exposure soon bore fruit. Australian news outlets picked up the story, adding fuel to the already blazing viral fire. Residents from the Adelaide community - and even some from Victoria - began flocking to Homeboy, filling those once-empty seats.

In a follow-up TikTok video, Tom couldn't hide his gratitude. "Busiest week yet. Thx [sic] to all those who came in to support," he wrote, revealing he had just experienced the busiest week since Homeboy's inception. He also expanded his offerings by perfecting a lunch menu, featuring a variety of scrumptious sandwiches.

Online and offline, the community can't stop singing his praises. "Keep going man, you're doing great!" one follower cheered. "Absolutely amazing coffee and A+ customer service, will be back. Thanks, homeboy," another chimed in.

Tom's journey epitomizes the power of social media and community support in transforming setbacks into comebacks.

Featured image credit: andresr / Getty

Teen left heartbroken as no one visits his coffee shop on opening day

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Social media has rallied behind an 18-year-old entrepreneur who faced every business owner's worst nightmare: an empty coffee shop on opening day.

Tom Oswald, an ambitious young man from Adelaide, Australia, had just graduated from school when he launched his dual cafe and art shop, Homeboy, in July, the Mirror reports. Little did he know, his dreams would momentarily crumble when no one showed up on the big day.

Tom's unique establishment not only offers a variety of coffees and baked goods but also doubles as an art shop where customers can feast their eyes on beautiful artwork. While he was aware that his business journey might be challenging, the empty chairs and vacant tables were a sight he hadn't anticipated... especially on his business' first day.

Turning to TikTok to share his unfortunate experience, Tom released a video captioned: "Opened a café and nobody came," which instantly went viral, garnering over 1.3 million views.

size-large wp-image-1263229043
Credit: TikTok/@homeboy.co

The video showcased the uninhabited coffee shop and untouched food. One poignant shot featured Tom with his head in his hands, visibly distraught.

But the digital sphere had his back. Commenters flooded his video with heartwarming messages and pragmatic business advice.

"Me checking flights just to come and support this man's café," one user said. Another advised, "Hold a small event! Advertise, send out local flyers, put up decorations. Reel them in one time and they'll come back if your café is good!"

Other users sympathizers with Tom, sharing their own experiences of attempting to launch a business: "My dad just opened a small Greek food shop in Unley - always been his dream and NOTHING is sadder than seeing it empty - we’ll come by soon."

Speaking to news.com.au previously, Tom had stated: "The café can get a little bit quiet at times, but it is something I fully expect and do not get down about it. Quiet days give me time to reflect and research and busy days teach me the importance of efficiency."

size-large wp-image-1263229042
The online community rallied behind the budding businessman. Credit: Frank Lee / Getty

His resilience and the massive TikTok exposure soon bore fruit. Australian news outlets picked up the story, adding fuel to the already blazing viral fire. Residents from the Adelaide community - and even some from Victoria - began flocking to Homeboy, filling those once-empty seats.

In a follow-up TikTok video, Tom couldn't hide his gratitude. "Busiest week yet. Thx [sic] to all those who came in to support," he wrote, revealing he had just experienced the busiest week since Homeboy's inception. He also expanded his offerings by perfecting a lunch menu, featuring a variety of scrumptious sandwiches.

Online and offline, the community can't stop singing his praises. "Keep going man, you're doing great!" one follower cheered. "Absolutely amazing coffee and A+ customer service, will be back. Thanks, homeboy," another chimed in.

Tom's journey epitomizes the power of social media and community support in transforming setbacks into comebacks.

Featured image credit: andresr / Getty