Coffee Shops a Point of Contact Even at a Distance

While the Covid-19 restrictions cut off most sanctuaries outside homes, coffee shops were still able to provide some point of connection.

By Ethan Mann

No doubt that we are in a weird time right now. April 2020 felt like the whole nation had fallen apart. “It feels that this brings the worst out on some people, but the best in others,” Matt O’Connor said as I grabbed my morning coffee. As a barista at Dunn Brothers, I get to know a lot of my community and learn about a lot of things that happen in Rapid City. I also get a front view seat of the whole ordeal unfolding on covid-19. I see people coming in on their break outside after spending the last nearly two months indoors in their own home.

I love getting to know my town. It is a boiling pot of all kinds of people and it is sad to see people come in who always greet you with your name and smile each day to a simple sigh and a slight smirk as you hand them their cup of joe. Some of the people are so generous and it is easy to tell how much some people miss being able to just go outside and see others. I remember I always had this group come in every Sunday morning to get a cup or two and just come and sit to talk. It is relieving to see them all come and order through drive thru just to go set up camping chairs in the parking lot and talk to each . . . six feet apart. Sometimes I feel that is more of just getting a cup of coffee. It is a relationship with the guests that order. Some of them like it much more just to come and talk to you about what is happening and what is new in their life and seeing faces beam with joy as they forget that social distancing is now a habit we all practice.

With my coworkers, they are happy to be there. We don’t see it as a job. At Dunn Bros it is a get-away from doing nothing for days on end to being able to make people smile with little acts of kindness. but coming to get coffee seems like a great way to get some energy to do more at your place of work now–home.

Photo: Chai > Life by Kendra on Flickr