BUFFALO, N.Y. — Daily Planet has been a staple on Hertel Avenue since it opened in 2014, but the cafe has not been exempt from the trials small businesses have faced during the pandemic. The beloved coffee shop is now on the brink of eviction due to a lapse in lease payments, and owner Michael Caputi insists he is doing everything he can to save the shop.

What You Need To Know

  • Daily Planet Coffee Company is facing eviction after falling behind on lease payments due to hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Owner Michael Caputi says he has paid $3,000 toward his $8,000 debt.

  • Caputi is asking the community to reach out to building owner John Daly to advocate for the cafe to keep its Hertel Avenue location.

  • The coffee shop opened in 2014 and has grown in popularity among students and creatives.

“I was in communication with the building owner and told him I’m working to secure some financing and to catch up and eventually he did say to me, I’m looking for a plan,” Caputi said.

Caputi's plan included a good faith payment that covered more than a third of his $8,000 debt, but he says building owner John Daly insists on evicting Daily Planet. Now, Caputi is asking for the community’s help to make an appeal.

“It’s a misunderstanding and I think he wants to see local businesses thrive," said Caputi. "And I thought if the community reaches out and says something, just bear with us a minute while we get going, because we did make a good faith payment, that maybe he would see this as a temporary issue that was beyond our control in many ways."

After losing 80% of its customer base in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the road to recovery was not an easy one for the coffee shop and with Caputi having exhausted all of his resources, relocation would be impossible.

“Ultimately, eviction for us would mean the end of Daily Planet, because I don’t have any money left to do that,” he said.

Daily Planet’s roots are in being a refuge, making the planet and lives a little better through community, the arts, charity and environmentalism. After serving the community for nearly eight years, Caputi hopes to keep making an impact through Daily Planet.

“I’m moved sometimes when I hear the stories of people telling me later where they were in their lives and how just having a place to come, a place to be, a place to be accepted. We need more of those places,” Caputi said.