The beauty of 12 years is that lots of people come in because we know their names.
The beauty of 12 years is that the manager remembers the olden days.
The beauty of 12 years is that you know you are doing it right and that you should keep on doing it.
This week has been continually busy.
The morning rush lines out the door and it stays there all morning. About half of them come often enough that we make their drink before they say hello. Others, about 25% come in less regularly, or switch up their orders. With them, we have to confirm. And the new ones? We know them too.
The new ones are usually less passive. They scan the menu, put their phones away, ask what our specialty is, ask if we have coffee of the day. "What brings you here?" we might venture. They usually say something like, "I heard you had great cold brew." Or, "People always leave your cups in the locker room at the gym down the street."
Whatever their reason for coming, they soon settle with the groove. It doesn't take long for their laughter and their voices to be heard amongst the regular crowd.
The line dies down and the steam wands resound with a hissing blast of air. The buzz is energizing and exciting. It mixes with the Big Band Jazz on the radio.
The tables are full of the usual suspects, Doc, Linda, Pistol, double-shot-extra-dry-almond-milk-cappuccino lady. Ever so often they roar with laughter. "Is it that time of morning already?" We ask, and to another, "How's your daughter's broken foot?"
Being seen and seeing the same people-- after 12 years-- it means it's a community. The beauty of 12 years is that its a community.