Throughout college I worked at 4 different coffee shops as I tried to find myself and what I wanted my career and life to be like. When I discovered working at a coffee shop, it was one of my favorite things.
I met so many amazing people in each one that I worked in. I met boyfriends, best friends, role models, and just really great people in general. There are a lot of people that I worked with throughout the years that I have stayed in touch with and at that time, were such a huge part of my life. Working hours upon hours and really, really long hours sometimes the entire day or early in the morning (5am shift) or closing late on the weekends (midnight), we had to really like each other to get along in so many different long tedious hour situations.
The first coffee shop in Pleasantville was called the Dragonfly Caffe. The owner was the mother of a man who had bought it but then he had bailed and moved away to Colorado leaving the shop so his mom took it over. (So many businesses I have worked at have closed!) Anyway, throughout this time, I was working many hours and going to college, but then when I wasn’t working, I would hang out there because we had a huge group of friends that were always at the shop. I moved down the street from the shop so either I was at work or the people from work were at my house. It was awesome, literally so much fun. Pleasantville became my favorite, favorite, favorite place to live in the whole world. I still to this day feel the same way about Pleasantville. It was quite exactly what it was called. Pleasant. Unfortunately, the son came back one day and took over again with his wife. Things went really well for a while and then they had a falling out and they decided to sell the shop. I decided it was time to go, since everyone was leaving anyway.
The second coffee shop was called Winston’s and it was in a very rich town called Armonk. I met so many amazing people there, one customer of which I dated, who wasn’t a very honest person, but did introduce me to Portsmouth New Hampshire and all around Maine, all for which I am very grateful for. This coffee shop people would just throw money at you in the morning, they were so rich and did not even care to wait for their change. The owners ended up getting divorced and they both abandoned the store and left me and one other girl in charge of closing it down for good.
At this point, I almost felt like I should not be working in coffee shops anymore, but it was my thing, I loved it. So I tried another one, in Peekskill, called the Peekskill Coffee Shop. I worked there for 2 days. Never went back. It was not what it seemed. I also had gotten a call from two past coworkers at the Dragonfly who had now bought a coffee shop in Tarrytown and they wanted me to come work for them. So that’s what I did.
I didn’t really become passionate about coffee and how it was made and where it came from until I worked at a coffee shop in Tarrytown called Coffee Labs. The owners had worked at the coffee shop I had just left called the Dragonfly Caffe. They were perfect, the place was perfect, everything was perfect. I loved it. At the same time, I needed a new place to live, since I was apartment hoping every year, it was that time.
Tarrytown was a lot like Pleasantville and the people in the town were just as awesome. I met a girl that worked down the street and we decided to get an apartment together. Strange how things work! Anyway, this coffee shop focused on how to make latte art, going on field trips to other coffee shops in Brooklyn and Soho and other NYC locations to see what their shops looked like and taste their coffee. The way they ran their coffee shop was amazing. They knew what they were doing and they did it well.
This year just happened to be the end of my college, I was graduating. I was considering driving across the country and visiting coffee shops and the owners totally backed me. But for whatever the reason was, I decided against it and thought it would be best to get a real job, with benefits and a normal schedule blah blah blah… well. I did. I got a job at a newspaper and I had to quit my job. They were not happy. They wanted me to be the assistant manager but the amount of money I would make at the newspaper was not comparable. I had to leave. It was time for me to grow up.
I didn’t go back to that shop for a very long time, as with the guilty feeling of leaving I knew how upset they were. But I just went in this past winter and saw them and they were happy to see me. I know they didn’t hold a grudge for that long, it was just awkward since I felt guilty.
I will never forget my time as a coffee shop worker. I swore on my life I was going to own one, and that dream doesn’t have to end here. There is still potential when I retire or maybe the next move when I know we won’t have to move again. I know I could do it, I have ran many places before they were about to close! Ahhh…. good times.
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