You might remember me sharing about a coffee shop in our community where all kinds of good things are happening. This is where my children have grown up playing and laughing and making good friends. We have met some of our best friends in that space. At one time or another I and my oldest have sought and found sanctuary there. It’s a place of peace and a community of bright, vivid lives whose stories become intertwined once they walk through the door.
It’s a little bigger than most coffee shops, because it was never meant to be just a coffee shop. It was designed to be a meeting place, a place to form and build relationships–ones that would celebrate your joys with you and hold you in times of sorrow. I have experienced all of that with the people of Bare Bulb Coffee.
This past week the Board of Bare Bulb Coffee made a difficult decision. If the folks who love and support this coffee shop are not able to raise $60,000 by January 31, the shop will close.
The expenses for running a coffee shop like this, with the missions and focus on relationships are a little higher than usual, because of the larger space. Not everyone who enters its doors purchases a menu item, which is okay. Some come to be with friends, study, learn to knit, play a game with their daughter, or just sit in the place that so many of us call home. Some days the cash register reflects the good that has gone on. Other days not so much. But good has happened nonetheless. The money that all are hoping to raise will go towards operating funds for the coming year and to hire a top-notch manager who will take the shop to another level businesswise.
This has been a big part of my week. Working with other folks for whom this matters greatly. Inviting our community into this project of saving the shop from closing. Listening to precious stories of people who met their spouses at the shop, children who leave Mom a note thanking her for taking them to Bare Bulb, folks who have written or studied or created while sitting in the little shop on the corner. Every one has been dear to me and has been imprinted on my heart. My favorite little place is loved by so many for so many different reasons.
My Mama used to say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t know.”
And so we asked. We told the story of our hardship to the Bare Bulb and local communities. And we asked for help.
And oh my heart.
People have jumped to act. So many have said NO, not on my watch–the light will not end. People are offering to have benefit concerts, to donate portions of their sales towards keeping Bare Bulb open, to donating to a shop-saving fund, to giving items and services for a Silent Auction to raise money for the Bulb.
And we only announced this three days ago.
We’ve even had folks emailing us, offering their hearts and time to do whatever is necessary to keep the light of Bare Bulb Coffee open.
Y’all. For the love.
In the midst of another hard week filled with hard stories, I have been amazed and thankful beyond words for the compassion and encouragement and unwavering faith of people I’ve never met for whom this place is just as important as it is to me. The light of Bare Bulb Coffee has shone brightly and lives have been changed by the relationships and community there.
It’s a new model–this blend of mission and business and community and space and selling and making of the coffee and pastries and frozen hot chocolate. We have learned as we have gone along. There are things we can look back and say we should’ve or shouldn’t have and in the end, one thing stands–this place matters, it matters to a whole lot of folks. And if the ones who are speaking up now with love and generosity and kindness and faith have anything to say about it, it will continue to touch and change lives for many more years to come.
If you are interested in following along, you can like our Save the Bulb page on Facebook or follow us on Instagram at savethebulb. We have a Generosity.com crowdfunding campaign here. There’s a great video there that tells more about all the light that shines out of our non-profit, missional coffeehouse…..one cup at a time.
Wishing you all a wonderful place to call home with a community who believes and empowers and loves.
Love to all.