Even though Dry Bones Mud House’s birthday is still a couple of weeks away, I wanted to take a look back over the past year and share some thoughts on our coffee journey thus far.
It should go without saying that this has been a huge learning process, and not only from the standpoint that this is our first coffee shop that we have opened or the fact that this is the first of any kind of business in this industry I have even worked in. Besides those facts, I have learned much about myself, we have learned much as a business, and we have learned much about people.
I have learned that though I am not the most organized person, I get mildly annoyed by some little things that I find in the sitting area or the condiment bar, etc. I laugh at myself when I realize that I get frustrated at such things.
I have learned that I really love to see the same people every day. It has given myself and Derek the opportunity to ‘get into’ the lives of those that frequent our shop. And I don’t mean that in a creepy, stalker type of way. What we desire is to be able to know people well enough that we can make their day better with timely comedic banter, or be able to notice when someone is riding the struggle bus that day and be sensitive to that. We like to be honest when people ask, “How is your day going?”, because we hope they will be honest with us when we respond back with, “How about yours?”. We have noticed an encouraging word or smile goes a long way for our customers, but also for us.
I have learned that people really love their coffee. And I have learned that people really don’t know much about the coffee they drink, whether at our establishment or other places. I have realized that even though I feel like people know we exist as a shop, that a lot of people still don’t know we exist as a coffee shop. I have learned that Indianapolis is a town full of creative people just waiting for an opportunity to showcase their talents.
I have learned that Indianapolis (I sort of already knew this) is a town of very hospitable and kind people. Several have been gracious if we forgot the syrup or steamed the wrong milk or didn’t have something in stock, etc. I have also learned that people care about our business. They ask, “How are things going with the shop?”. They tag us in their social media, they express their satisfaction on Yelp or Google. They tell others about us and invite them to hang out. People genuinely care about small businesses here in Indianapolis, including Dry Bones Mud House.
I have learned that the coffee community in Indy is second to none. The support we gained from existing shops and roasters was overwhelming. Everyone was an open door providing their wisdom on what to do and, even better, what not to do. The transparency from shop owners was humbling. A couple of shop owners let me volunteer and even paid me to work behind the counter while the whole time knowing I was working towards opening DBMH. They knew that I needed the experience to be successful and I attribute much of our success to those experiences.
I could go on and on. And I could also share the not-so-positive lessons we have learned as a company, and trust me there have been some. But I prefer to focus on the positive and be grateful for the place and people God has put in our lives. We hope we bless others in our service, but Derek and I are the most blessed in our customer/barista relationship because we get to meet so many wonderful people from so many different walks of life.
So when we celebrate our upcoming birthday on May 7th, it isn’t only a celebration that we made it a year, it is a celebration of the relationships that have been forged as a result of this cool little space and beverage we have been charged as stewards of sharing. God bless you all and we look forward to many more birthdays and years of building relationships. Blessings!