Originally posted on jenniferbrogee.com
Kevin (my husband) and Jim (my brother) at a food tasting before we opened 4/16/2003
We celebrate our twentieth anniversary this year. One day in April 2003, we served our first customer in our coffee shop in downtown Lima, Ohio at the corner of Market and West Streets. The Meeting Place on Market was born.
Honestly, we had no idea what we were doing. I had a dream to open a coffee shop, to sell coffee beans and make lattes in a little corner of the world. I wanted to be independent, to transform a space in downtown Lima, and to make an positive impact on the community. The dream quickly morphed into something much bigger. It grew and changed with each person who joined.
I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to digital media and documentation. It is hard for me to let documents go because I think that I might need them to tell a story one day. That day has come! (But maybe it is time to get rid of all the Christmas cards I received in 1998.)
The first document I can find related to the coffee shop was a spreadsheet dated 1/22/2002. In it I outlined a rather mundane list of some of the work I had done so far:
What | Time Spent (hours)
meeting with Bill Lewis, Uptown Catering | 1.5
meeting with Jay Smith, Downtown Lima | 1.5
viewing building off Market St. | 1
viewing building next to Bistro and 53 Town Sq and Basinger's | 2
working on business plan | 5
working on Birthday Party Planning | 3
1/2/2002 - working on business plan | 2
2/12/2002 - working on business plan | 2
Total | 18 hours
I had spent 18 hours so far. 18 hours to document my thoughts, research some stats, and basically follow the business plan formula I had learned in college. If only I had known the endless hours that would be spent by myself, my parents, and my husband over the next 20 years. Would I go back and do it again? I hope to answer that question through this blog, as I walk through our story.
18 hours. Hidden in that mundane list of tasks is a meeting - a meeting with someone who did not know me, and I did not know him. I did not realize that I had met someone who would come alongside our vision and invest thousands of dollars in making it a reality.