My alarm wakes me out of deep sleep; the echoing tune of “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso beckons me to make that first step out of bed. My first thought, “Why do I do this?” Eventually I drag my feet up to the bathroom and gaze at my hair all askew while I brush my teeth - it's just going to have to do. I throw on a t-shirt, pants, and my shop shoes (a black pair of All-star Converse) on. I check my clock again; it’s 4:36 am. I quickly pour some cereal in a bowl and awaken my home espresso machine – hoping that its moans don’t wake the other sleeping beauties in the apartment. I shove some food in my mouth and hurry out the door. I check my phone again, its 5:01 am. The question again comes to my head, “Why do I do this?”
I scurry to my car as the frigid air chases after me – the morning is eerie and all too quiet for northern Virginia. As soon as I’m in my car, I turn on the Indie Dance Pandora station my old co-worker, DJ, and I used to jam to in the mornings. My eyes hardly open at the wee hour of 5 am, I pull up to the shop, settled in on historic Church St. Behind its doors lies a Hometown Roaster shop that will see familiar, old, and new faces today – and every other day of the year.
For me – it’s work. I open this sweet little coffee shop 3 times a week, having to report at precisely 5:15 am each morning. My opening duties require laying out delectable pastries from a bakery (just a mile or two down the road) and scrambling eggs for breakfast sandwiches. As I pull up to my shop I ask myself again before embarking on my duties, “Why do I do this?”
I’m a full time college student with a bustling social life, a boyfriend, and a training schedule for a marathon I plan on running in the spring (inspired by the Vienna Running Moms). I wake up at 4:15 am 3 times a week and my head usually hits the pillow before 10 pm. Although I could nap, I don’t. Although I could pick a different time to work, I don’t. And although I could have any other job, I chose this one. Why do I do this?
At 6 am, Judy walks in – newspaper in hand and a smile stretched across her face.
“Twelve double skim cappuccino?” I ask. “Same as usual,” She replies as she hands me her Caffe Amouri card (every 11th drink is free if you use your card).
Judy sits down as David walks in. He’s a tall, big-boned man who definitely wins the, “Most-likely-to-guess-the-trivia-right” award. He gives me his order (as if I don’t already know it), “Quad 20 cap with Skim and 2 Splendas,” Tabitha, the barista and supervisor most mornings, lets him know she’s already on it.
After David comes Susan, Derek, David, and Glen, then many, many more after them. They greet me with smiles and a “Hey Jenna, how are you?” and we catch up on how their week has been and how their kids are doing.
I think about my question again, “Why do I do this?” All along the answer was right in front of me – because of them and the smiles they bring into the shop every morning. That's why I do this. That’s why we all do this as employees at Caffe Amouri – we do this for you.
Thank you for your smiles, your jokes, and your laughs this past year – we can’t wait to spend another year with you. Happy New Year, friends.