The coffee house… getting to know the neighbors.

So, how does this coffee house stand out from all the other ones?

The goal is not to merely exist just to make a profit. Or, as an establishment you drive by, walk in, sit down with your laptop and have a cup of coffee… shop. The differences are in the connections with the people who live and work in the surrounding area and how those connections are established and nurtured. And, why. The goal is to strengthen the community. To partner businesses. To connect people to each other and to what is around them.

Nwe-Screen-DoorIt’s all in how we do things.

To be a nucleus of a neighborhood… ties must be formed. Otherwise, there is no nucleus. So, to build or form relationships, we first must know who people are. Who is the neighborhood? Who are the people that make up the community? Who are the businesses? Who are our city officials? Who are the law officers? Who represents our community/the region in which we live.

The same is true for learning the demographics… for learning who the customer is.Homeless cuddling dog by Kirsten Bole 100 dpi

Who is the woman who lives two houses down in the blue and white house, with the funky mailbox? Who is the man who stands on the street corner with a sign saying “will work for food”? Who is family with four kids, where the the dad lost his job? Who is the woman who was just promoted to management, she lives down the street… you know the one… the one with the big dog? To build community, we first must know who people are. What is their story?

So, how will we do this?

Outreach. By knocking on doors, taking time to canvass and get to know our neighbors. Learning their stories. It’s not done by handing out surveys. We’ll take a proactive approach… listen to concerns, understand individual needs, and connect. Building trust. Offering hospitality and invitation.

In the next few posts, I will be pulling apart how art, music, and local events (tied to outreach and hospitality) will play an intregal part in building community within the coffee house.


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