Is life the part that happens between the crises and the unforeseeable or is it the responses and decisions one makes to crises and the unforeseeable? Or stated alternatively, and in adherence to our unstated rule about blogging on only all things coffee, is life the parts of the day between coffee or is it those moments with cup in hand?
When we set out to build the shop it was primarily about two ideas or principles. First, great coffee -in a particular new American style. To focus on the cup. To provide an unadulterated, coffee-centric experience. Second, the walls around the cup. To provide a space that anchors the meter and pace of your day, week or month. To create a space that’s ever changing and usable by us to create the coffee, but also usable by the people that come in the door to make something great or build to something great, whether it be a SLOUP event, pop-ups, meeting others, meeting oneself (a moment for introspection) or sharing an experience with a visitor that only St. Louis has to offer. This second aspect, the walls around the cup, is as important to us as the first, because it was those moments, in shops like Sump -while in New York, that gave me a sense of control, order and connection to something larger -the breath of the city say.
It is the experience around coffee that touches me the most these last few days. The people that have been part of our ‘coffee days’ in St. Louis have been so generous and supportive with their thoughts and actions. People, all but coffee strangers to us, offering to help -not just help, but show up and shovel -to get dirty; or just providing emotional support -dropping by and looking deeply into our souls with much sympathy ‘asking how things are’ or sending long texts of support, or offering spaces and/or solutions. It is truly humbling. It makes me worried for when we reopen. Before, we just worried about the coffee, now we have to continue to be a place that merits your support, your visits, your kindness. It’s difficult to know how to respond (because I have a beard -grunts and coffee are all I speak normally) other than to say Thank You!, which never seems enough when you truly and deeply mean it. So back to what is life -I think it’s cup in hand, and the people you meet or fill it with.