What’s this whole coffee journey about?
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you where my love for coffee shops originated. I haven’t been a coffee drinker my whole life. It came to be more than just a random treat during the pandemic. My 7-year-old son died in 2019 and it devastated my entire life.
I was always trying to find anything that could help me through the pain. Since he died 8 months before the world shut down, the things I had found to help me cope were ripped out from underneath me. I would search high and low for an open coffee shop. I would often drive 40 minutes to sit in a drive-thru line for another 40 minutes just for a little pick-me-up. It became something I would look forward to.
It all really changed when I became a daily customer at Starbucks and one of the baristas thanked me and called me by name. I was taken aback because I couldn’t believe that he noticed me, let alone recognized me. It felt so good to be noticed because every day that I walked in, I was in sheer agony. His “hello” meant so much to me. I made sure to let him and the other employees know how much it meant to me. Sometimes a little hello can mean a whole lot to someone who is fighting to keep going.
It was then that I really started thinking more about how it’s more than just a cup of coffee for me, it’s about the welcoming environment. It can mean a cup of happiness. People want to be at a coffee shop. Going to get my coffee became the highlight of my day and something I looked forward to.
I started to schedule meetings throughout the area to explore local coffee shops and I discovered that St. Louis has a lot to offer. There are over 50 local coffee shops in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. I had many discussions with local networkers about where they like to meet for meetings and it started me on the voyage of finding the best coffee shops to have a meeting, a date or a place to meet friends for a cup of joe.
My hope is that upon reading this that you will think of these local gems when you are out and about. By frequenting a small local business, you are keeping your hard-earned money in St. Louis, maybe branching out of where you would normally go, you are supporting local and being reminded that St. Louis has a lot to offer!