I remember, Ben Chin was our very first customer on May 31, 2014 as soon as we opened the doors he strolled in and told me that he had been driving by for weeks now, waiting in anticipation of our opening. He was so happy we were open and Ben
has remained a faithful customer ever since that day. And as day turned into night, I stood teary eyed outside our coffeehouse. I can still hear the music, see our neon Coffee sign in the window. The streets were cloaked in silence not a car or person to be seen, except in our little coffeehouse venue which was packed with a sold out concert. I remember that feeling of deep gratitude that our first day in business was so successful and I knew this was just the beginning of what would turn out to be a complete manifestation of the dreams we had that December in 2012 when we bought the boarded up building at 131 North Main St.
And now after 6 years having built a successful business, we are known as 'the local living room.' This title came with many ups and downs, laughs and cries. We have been hosts to so many community meetings, home office to many, celebrating
friendships and special occasions and all over coffee...I do believe the Ellijay Coffeehouse has come full circle!
This month we will celebrate yet another sort of grand opening...let's call it post covid-19. We closed our doors March 22nd and that first week was brutal, wondering what in the world was going on, not knowing if we should get rid of all perishables or if we would reopen the next day. As fate would have it, we did not open the next day nor the next or even the next week or month and so here we are almost 2 months later celebrating a reopening!
I must say that 2 months gives one lots of time to think about their life and even more time to do all the things you never had time to do when you worked. The first week of isolation was tough for
me as I was having a hard time disconnecting from work. I missed our customers and the entire social aspect of our lives as I am sure many of you did as well. Then the stages hit ... grief... anger... acceptance...and whoa and behold after a few weeks I found myself painting, writing, gardening, creating sacred spaces at our farm, known to many of you as 'The Martyn House'. I was finding time to relax and enjoy my life as I now knew it and maybe even at one time I had intended it to be this way all along.
In this deep contemplation I found myself settling into it much better than I imagined I would or that even my friends imagined. And then the seed of that feeling that says, "why yes... maybe I could do this the rest of my life" began to sprout and the vision for my life took on a whole new perspective.
I took my daily walks around the property, often sitting by the pond or watching birds as they built nests, lay their eggs, and I even watch those babies take flight. I found a new peace of mind on our farm. I started sleeping later, enjoying my coffee on the porch, started doing some morning yoga and journaling my thoughts.
Ya see this is the thing.... when I imagined my life, when once again we could begin to socialize and get back to some form of normalcy that seems to have been void these last few months. I saw myself having coffee with friends at the Ellijay Coffeehouse but not as an owner but a customer.
As these ideas sprouted and took root there was no turning back .... I decided by mid-April that the Ellijay Coffeehouse needed a new captain at the helm and that was not me. I knew they needed
to be young, full of ideas, optimistic and ready to take it to the next level. Of course, I knew they would love coffee and maybe even roast on site one day like I had always intended! I knew they would believe in community like we did, and I knew for sure they were out there talking about this very thing as I thought it!
Once my mind was set I just had to get out of the way and let the universe do the rest.....and so it was... a simple email to a customer that had just about lived at the coffeehouse until he and his significant other got sent back to his companies home office in Virginia. My initial email was sent to them
in January as I had to apologize, because as they were visiting over the holidays (they always stop in several times to see us) I was always too busy to talk. I hated that when people I had not seen in a while would stop in and I could not get the opportunity to catch up with them and their lives. Their reply email was returned to me in March, having been buried in wor
k he was just now getting around to answering . His side note in that email indicated that they were coming back to live in Ellijay.....Coming Home ...yes that is exactly how he explained it ... Coming Home!.....enough said