The American Worker: Harry's Cafe Gives Commuters Another Reason to Stop

For Harry Buenger, putting coffee and breakfast in the hands of Chicago-area commuters isn't just a job, it's a way of life.

"I'll probably be out here until I'm 90, with my little walker or something serving coffee," said Buenger, who has been selling a simple spread of coffee, soda and pastries from "Harry's Café" to commuters in Naperville, Ill., for 32 years.

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Buenger prides himself on never missing a day – rain or shine, oppressive heat or bone-chilling cold – and customers never have to tell him twice how they take their morning java.

"For me, getting up early, it's not a problem," he said. "I've just never blown it off, never. If I'm going to be out here in the summertime, I got to be out here in the wintertime too. If I don't show up, I'll hear about it the next day big time."

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Buenger said he serves roughly 3,000 people daily yet he remembers the names of most of the familiar faces. Lately, however, he's noticed less people on riding the rails.

"This is so different than anything I've ever witnessed," he said. "I mean, there's a lot of people out of work all over the place … I don't charge an exorbitant amount for my product, so if people aren't buying, it's because they're keeping the money in their pockets."

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Despite the tough times, Buenger lets everyday customers go if they're short a few cents here and there, and loves to spice things up a bit with pleasantries and weather forecasts.

"If all businesses could run like this, America would be thriving right now," he said.