Thursday, April 21, 2011

Habatat Coffee Co.- end of Chapter 1

As my time in VA ends, can't help but think back on the expectations and experiences I've had the past two years. Habatat Coffee, in Tyson's Corner, was an intense education if nothing else. Was it extremely profitable? Not at all but it did yield huge returns in the department of people; their stories and lives. And that is what I celebrate today . . . and assuredly underestimated at the beginning.

I never expected the depth of relationships that would come to develop. I wrongly assumed that our shop would be host to many arrogant corporate types, ready to belittle out of spite and proudly share their expertise. But I experienced that maybe twice in my time here out of the thousands of people that I served. Instead, I found solid, humble people who dropped their titles at the door. They weren't CEO's, partners, lawyers or investment bankers; they were Tim, Steve, David, etc. Just regular guys making their way through life. All were on equal ground in Habatat and that is what created what we had. Lots of laughter and water cooler talk. Many of the same faces each day, lots of stories and some intensely personal moments. Each day, I was reminded how wrong I had been in judging my potential customers before the opening. But how gentle the reminders were.

I quickly came to realize that what I did had little to do with the coffee and much more to do with listening and caring. I played the role of a therapist, friend, HR consultant, political pundit, priest, app developer . . . and barista. I heard secrets, strategies and BIG life questions. Never have I felt such a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Not because I craved it but because I saw people that were seeking and extended a hand. They just wanted a place to call their own and be known. Habatat was that place, and I, it's gate keeper.

So I thank all of you Towers Crescent for sharing your lives- you will forever be etched into my heart as the place where it all started. Blessings to you all. See you soon!

Sent from my iPad