Today I wrote the last check for a business loan I took out in June of 2008. It was an expensive adventure, as I wrote about here. But today’s payoff reminds me that the coffee shop is still paying off.
Writing that check has brought back a flood of memories:
I remember the wise and loving counsel of close friends. I remember the phone call that sealed the deal. I remember the early days being trained by Ruby, the original owner, and wondering if I could pull this off. I remember the way her regulars accepted me and invited me into their lives. I remember how crowded that little place on Flushing Rd would get. I remember Carolyn jumping in to help. I remember two high school students, Kim then Frances, bringing in their resumes and joining the team.
I remember going through a possible new location with Steve, Joe, and Lee. I remember the move. Everyone showed up and in one morning lock, stock, and barrel was moved to a beautiful new home around the corner. I remember friends who painted and cleaned and supported the business. I remember the night we had a packed house and the sewer backed up but no one knew and Bill kept playing.
I remember laughter and tears, couples on their first date and conversations about relationships ending, snow days and warm afternoons on the porch, backgammon games and euchre tournaments. I remember lots of other things too but today I wanted you to know I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m not sure I could have done life without you.
For over three years I spent most of my waking hours surrounded by the smell of coffee and pastries, the whoosh of foaming milk, the roar of blenders, music, chatter and surrounded by some of the best people I’ve ever known. While those sites, smells, and sounds are gone your impact is still felt. I was incredibly fortunate to have that season of life and I want to thank each of you for your part in it. I am still reaping the benefits of Rublev’s…not financially but in far more rich ways.