I’m sorry, but I’m no Nicolas Sparks or William Shakespeare. This tale does not have gripping plot twists or personalities willing to take their own lives in the name of love. The only thing dying in this story is cup after cup of coffee. But for me, coffee represents so much more than a morning beverage. This is my love story.
It all began with my first offical cup of coffee at Flatlands in my home town. Before this fateful moment, I had sips here and there of my parents’ cups of joe, but the bitterness provoked me to turn my nose up to any further interest. My unsophisticated taste buds were not yet ready to enter the world of coffee. But that all changed when I sat down to my first artisan mug of Flatlands’s coffee. Ben, the owner and my old neighbor, set me up with one of his best varieties and encouraged me to first taste the coffee without any additives. He was the person who finally got me on the black coffee train, and from there I would never go back.
Fast forward two years later. My newfound pastime became searching for the most artisan coffee shops around my current location. I absolutely loved the ambience that Flatlands portrayed and I felt that the aesthetic added to the overall coffee experience. Or perhaps that’s just my millennial instagram tendencies...I digress. Then one January day I stumbled upon a Coffee Roasting shop that would soon become my home away from home: Maddie & Bella Coffee Roasters.
The company was irresistible. Not only was my own name included in the title, but it was spelled in the same manner! I walked into the shop in downtown Perrysburg, and I immediately knew that this was an atmosphere with which I wanted to surround myself: the bright open space, the endless coffee and latté options, and the friendly, hipster baristas. I walked up to the counter and requested a job application. It was the most impulsive move I had yet to make, but it has truly opened many doors of opportunity.
Only a week later, I found out that the job was mine, and I couldn’t wait to start delving into this new section of gastronomy. Upon meeting my bosses and hearing about the family behind their business, I fell even more in love with Maddie & Bella. My boss’s dad roasts the coffee beans, his mom bakes the scones, his sister whips up the syrups, his wife manages all community affairs, and he himself runs to and from their two locations restocking ingredients and handling any other task that arises along with a whole other multitude of responsibilities. The family feeling hits you and makes you feel apart of a whole new loving entity. Instead of feeling as though I was working for this company, I felt like I was working WITH them.
They encouraged me from the beginning to always come to them with questions, ideas, or just funny jokes. They sparked my creativity, allowing me to create two overnight oats recipes to sell in the store. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay my Maddie & Bella fam for all that they have done. I’m not the same gal that walked into M&B at the beginning of this year. I’m a changed person because of this experience of becoming a barista.
Which then brings me to the present moment. I have finished working at my beloved coffee shop gig. I will miss my coworkers and the whole M&B community beyond words, but I know that as cheesey as it sounds, they will remain a part of me in my memories. Now, I am ready to take on the glorious coffee scene that is Ann Arbor with my newfound coffee snobbery and sophistication.Sorry Starbucks, but I’ve found love beyond your scrum coffee. (Sorry to anyone who works for/at starbucks).