A Grind Beans Update

Sunday, December 04, 2016

"I own a store" Kathleen Kelly narrates.

She was writing an email for NY152 on AOL, circa '98. She was telling him her store will close in a week and that it would be really depressing like a baby gap. Then, the scene shifted to her now empty store, a bookshop called Shop Around The Corner. Kathleen made certain to turn off the office lights before closing its door, she paused to look around and as she headed for the main entrance of her store, she made sure to run her hand down the counter. Easily, Kathleen grabbed the knob and pulled open the door. She took the door chime and turned back to take one last good look of the place and a memory of her mother, Cecilia and her young self twirling came to her mind as she flashed a smile melancholically. She sighed. Kathleen exited the store, casting a forlorn look on her face before pulling down the shutters for the final time. Then, she was seen walking the street of New York on a cold evening, a bell in her hand chiming in the distance.

You've Got Mail was the movie I watch far too many times you can hear me constantly quoting it. ๐Ÿ˜† What with the recent event that unfolded in my life, I think it's quite obvious who my current life peg is.

Five months ago, my family opened a coffeeshop downtown. A quaint, cozy little coffeeshop in Sto. Rosario with black and white minimalistic appeal that offers the public beyond their coffee and patisserie fix. A coffeeshop with a charming shelf filled with books, coffee and tea trinkets, embellished in a way that conveys "Come and hang out awhile. We’re delighted you’re here.Spearheaded by my sisters and I, we toiled away, as if toil were life itself, and the weighty pounding of our hypothetical hammers, the weighty pounding of our hearts. We were consummately ecstatic to open Grind Beans to the public after two months of turning that wretched, roach-infested, disheveled place into what Grind Beans was. Business was off to a great start to say the least. The shop presented us an environment that was far too different from the ministry and teaching that we are so comfortable and familiar with, but is equally exciting and riveting all at once. Imagine, I was waiting tables, serving (non-alcoholic, totally wholesome) drinks, washing dishes after five.  It was an experience that led to growth and profound understanding of service (which I will wholly expound on another blog entry some other time!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

When monsoon came, things turned stiff. Staff came and went but we still managed to hold up. We were new to the biz after all, so we stuck around, quite hopeful that where we were was just a phased. We gathered the team, revamped the entire shop, our menu, strategies, et al. It felt like we're back to square one, starting from scratch yet again, over zealous towards the task at hand but somewhere along the way, when we least expect it, conflict arose, one that is beyond our control. It's a long story -- full of mundane personal details and totally uncalled-for drama I'd like to spare you from. Let's just say, en route our project revamp, we've run in to real life Joe Foxes who are far less charismatic than the character Tom Hanks portrayed in You've Got Mail. Who, incidentally, to paraphrase Kathleen Kelly, instead of brains, have cash registers, instead of hearts, bottom lines. So, when push comes to shoved, we were left with the only reasonable option to take: pulled the shutters down for good.

Last week, we cleared out our rented building in Sto. Rosario and never looked back. The weekend got me feeling ala Kathleen Kelly but every cloud has a silver lining, they say, and ours are streaks too palpable to ignore. To those who believed in us, stood with us and supported us in our short stint at Sto. Rosario, THANK YOU! I know this is a kind of a standard clichรฉ but it was fun while it lasted. It truly was.

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