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Coffee shop operates on honor system without employees

This Coffee Shop Trusts Its Customers

You won't find any service ratings for one coffee shop in North Dakota -- because there are no employees and the shop operates on an honor system.

"The Vault" in Valley City gives a whole new meaning to first come, first serve because everything is self-serve...which means there's no one there to make sure customers pay, either.

David Brekke and his wife, Kimberly, transformed a former bank into the coffee hot spot last October. David told KVRR they haven't broken even yet, but so far things are working out: "The thing that's amazing is that people have been extremely honest. When I add up how much has been taken and how much is in the bill at the end of the day, people are 15 percent more generous than thieving."

The couple hopes to turn the spot next door into a self-serve bakery within the next few years. Not all coffee shops get such positive feedback for a unique approach. A store in Maine was actually burned down just four months after it opened. The shop was controversial from the get-go ... because waitresses served customers topless.

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