I took today off as a vacation day from work. Not for vacation. Not for a doctors appointment or really anything for me. I took today off to help someone load up and move his local small business into temporary storage while he works to reopen at a new location. Long story short... First Chapter Coffee House is an amazing local small business with some very dedicated, talented staff. They brew excellent coffee, have created some book-themed special drinks both hot and cold (my fav is the Ruby Red Slipper and I may or may not have had a hand in the creation of this refreshing treat), yummy baked goods, sandwiches and soups and last but not least the most amazing kombucha ever. They use produce from local farms (cough, cough Hope, Joy and Faith Farm, LLC mint, apples and pears) and strive to provide excellent personalized service.
If you take a moment to "like" and then read recent posts on their facebook page located at https://www.facebook.com/FirstChapterCoffee you'll find out why Rusty and his amazing team are relocating. I have my own personal opinions that I will keep private for now. But I will say that locally owned businesses are vital to the success of any small community. First Chapter has been a very active supporter of our town, not only providing a peaceful space for locals to gather and visit (or spend some time working) but donating time and goodies to local non-profits and other events. I truly believe that they will reopen in their new location in a few months and be even better, if that's possible.
As co-owner/operator of a small business, I know how hard it is when something like this happens. Things need to get done quickly, often within a short amount of time. I've always loved the thought of the old-time barn raisings, where we come together to help each other out. When I found out that First Chapter had a very limited amount of time to move quite a bit of inventory, supplies and equipment I immediately realized I had something I could offer in way of help. Last weekend, with the help of two other small, locally owned businesses (M and M Farms LLC and Jenn's Corner Crafts, I picked up a new-to-me horse trailer. It's first major trip was today, with a full load of inventory, supplies and equipment. I am proud to say I even successfully backed it up (no one was watching, but that's the way I like it). The trailer is currently on loan to First Chapter so they can finish their move.
"Support small business" is a very well known phrase, especially as the holiday season approaches. Living with a pandemic the last year and a half has definitely shown us that we need to buy as local as possible from the small businesses in our community. I'd like to start another phrase... "Small businesses supporting each other". Because being able to see a need and help out really helped me today. I realized that there was something I could do for another business that maybe made things just a little easier for them. Are you a small business owner? Look around and and find another small, locally owned business and notice if you see something they might need just a little help with. Or better yet, just ask them. Trust me, it feels great!
And I can't wait until I can walk into First Chapter Coffee House in a few months and order another Ruby Red Slipper.