It's always been my desire to create a place where people's lives can intersect. In starting Taproom, I wanted the kind of place where you can meet up with someone to catch up on life, or where you can schedule a business meeting and sign some paperwork. I wanted to be in the business of cultivating connection.
We zip through our lives and think about ourselves a lot. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing - to think about self - but I know that my personal tendency is to keep my head down and get my stuff taken care of, and not bring in any more than I think I can handle. Even with a seemingly outgoing personality, a colorful family, and a growing business, I find that I often want to just shut out the world and stay in my own little bubble. I put up my blinders and avoid connection.
When you ask someone to share a coffee or beer with you, those barriers are broken down, even if it's for just a moment. In accepting an invitation to imbibe, you enter into a mini social contract that states, "I'm there to connect with you, for at least as long as it takes to get to the bottom of my cup."
That's what I was shooting for in opening Taproom. I wanted to provide opportunity for people to have those interactions - to enter into that mini social contract - dozens, hundreds of times a day. And even though coffee and beer are the headlining rock stars, of course that interaction can happen over tea, cookies, wine, or whatever else.
Coming up this month is a big event that I'm hoping will just help people in the community connect with each other. We're doing a pumpkin carving contest! Granted, a pumpkin carving event doesn't really have anything directly to do with coffee or beer, but it has everything to do with community. My hope is that we pack the place out with neighbors who end up being elbow-deep in pumpkin seed goop, laughing and chatting and having a great time as they carve pumpkins with their kids. And who knows, maybe this will start an annual tradition - one of many events that regularly takes place at Taproom, giving a random reason for people to interact with each other in a way that builds memories, community, and connection.