“Very early on I would sit outside, checking in and touching base with people, and we would just have conversations. Everybody has been processing the information differently, and I would liken it to people going through different stages of grief. That’s what we have been observing, and to flesh that out a bit, some people come in and they’re upset that we’re doing anything. Like, ‘This is all blown out of proportion; everything should be business as usual.’ And there’s people that come in, even in the last couple of weeks, that say this is the first time they’ve really gone out and done anything. So there is certainly the full spectrum, and we see that manifest sometimes verbally and sometimes just body language. That’s how we’ve been able to try to understand where people are coming from.
“Like I said, like stages of grief. We’re not literally going, ‘Okay, I bet they’re at a 2 and they’re at a 7,’ but just being conscious that everybody is at a different place in this process. So once we kinda get a Spidey-sense feel for where they are then maybe we’ll have this conversation, or maybe they’re just business and they want coffee; get in, get out. You want to feel where people are and serve them where they are. This is just an added layer; another filter that we have to work information through. So it can be challenging; it can be exhausting, but still definitely worth it.
“We do want to be here for the community. We were lumped into what would be considered essential, and the definition was something to the effect that you’re here to not only provide a service as far as goods and services, but it’s a holistic approach, basically. That touched our heartstrings. That’s our ethos; that we are here just as much to get to know people and build relationships as we are about serving what we hope to be some of the best coffee they’ve ever tasted. Just being intentional about not remembering only drinks, but stories.”