There’s a Coffee shop one block away from my house. You rarely have to wait in line for good coffee and there’s space to sit and read.
I don’t go to that one.
I go to the coffee shop four blocks past it where I have to parallel park and often times wait in a long line.
I’m happy to solve parking puzzles and wait in line at 7:00 am because they know me here, and I know them.
Before I knew anyone where I lived, I was just the guy who wears gym clothes every day. “There he goes again, does this guy even own a pair of jeans?”
But after my 2nd week of coming, the staff began striking up conversations with me. A long-haired, skater-looking barista, Kyle initiated talking with one of my favorite things to do, sharing funny youtube videos.
Since then, if I walk in and Kyle is there I’m greeted with “what up council?!”… It’s an inside joke from the video.
It turns out that of the 5 people I regularly talk to here, I went to high school with one of them, go to the same climbing center as 2 of them, and vacationed where a darker long-haired barista named Matt originally learned to serve coffee.
You could stop reading here if you want the overall message of this post.
“Relationships matter, not coffee.”
But if you want to know Matt’s story and the movement I think he and I have accidentally started, read on…
Two weeks ago I walked to the cafe because it was particularly nice outside. We had a partly sunny morning and a dry breeze. <<People who live in Arkansas really value that sentence.
The cafe had around 6 other customers but no line today. I placed my regular order with the barista I didn’t know well.
“1 black coffee for here. Add an extra shot.”
He then draws a doodle of a hammerhead shark on a mini yellow sticky-note and sticks it onto a white mug.
“Why a hammerhead?”
He replies, “Oh that’s just what they were called back in San Diego near the beach. It’s a red-eye or something else here, but we named things after ocean life out there. Everyone knew what a hammerhead was near the coast. I tried to bring the name when I moved here a year ago but It didn’t catch on but I still draw them.”
Me: That’s cool, I love San Di…(conversation continues)
I thought “How common is it that most of us share the desire for nostalgia?” I used to fish with my dad and brother when I was young. We’re going fishing in another week, not because I like fishing, but because it will get us together to relive good times.
The next day, I walked in and didn’t see Matt. I didn’t care. I walked up, brought my hands down on the counter and said: “I want a Hammerhead!”
The manager hung his head and smirked saying with a defeated tone, “we don’t serve that here.”
Matt jumps up from behind the espresso machine with hands in the air “YEAASS!” and goes into a victory dance while pointing finger guns at the defeated-looking manager.
Turns out, a year ago he told Matt, that no one in Arkansas will ask for a Hammerhead.
I posted a picture of my coffee on Instagram just minutes later and prompted people to ask for a Hammerhead at Mylo Coffee Co. to make the staff’s day.
A week later, someone else walked in… and asked for a Hammerhead.
Matt was there. Day two of nostalgia.
It’s wasn’t about being the only one to ask for a Shark at a coffee shop. It was about adding to someone’s perfect day.
It’s not about coffee, it’s about the relationships.
It’s not about fitness, it’s about who you fitness with.
“It’s not the thing, it’s the emotions the thing brings.”
Go find someone’s Hammerhead and order one.
P.S. In Arkansas:
A coffee with 4 shots is a “Kieth Richards”
A Coffee with 5 shots and a cigarette is a Jimi Hendrix.