To our valued customers,
Today marks three years since we opened our doors. We have seen some amazing highs and some unfortunate lows, but one thing that has remained consistent over the years is our amazing customers.
March 3, 2019 began the journey that we are on today, and like with most small businesses in their first year, we struggled to make a name for ourselves. We started with the fact that we opened 6 months later that we had expected. I know more about commercial construction than I had ever wanted to know. We hoped and prayed that our neighborhood coffee and tea shop would be accepted. We worked through having a staff that was, except for one, entirely new to coffee. We were still trying to nail down procedures and recipes, and we adjusted our hours several times to meet the needs of our traffic. During this time of uncertainty, we began a wonderful relationship with Made by Anna D, to sell her Coffee Cuffs, which to-date we have sold close to 500 units together. We also did what we could to ensure that we worked with local vendors as much as possible. We got better at what we were doing and at the end of the year, we quickly realized that we were starting to see more and more repeat customers, some of which became more like family.
We ended 2019 with great momentum, but something happened none of us could even imagine…COVID. And what had started to be a pretty good beginning of 2020, turned into the hardest year both here at The Lounge and for me personally. The week I was preparing to celebrate our Second Anniversary, the shutdown happened and for the next several months we struggled. But our regulars were still here! You stood by us through the shutdown, you did some amazing things for my staff, and my staff did some amazing things for me. As you probably already know, my father was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme grade 4 brain tumor, within days of the shutdown, so I left. I left my team with a huge responsibility, take care of the store while we took care of my father. I left my livelihood in their hands and they did me proud. My father passed away on May 7, 2020 and I struggled. My staff carried me and so did our regulars. No one could have prepared my team or me for what 2020 had in store but we overcame and we are still here. We managed through a winter freeze like we had never seen before. We tried to reinvent ourselves by trying new things, some worked and others failed. Early in the year we made a switch to a new roaster and that proved to be a good decision. We began a new business relationship with two more amazing young entrepreneurs and their company Groundify. We also began hosting Pop-Up Pick-Up events with Lady Empanada. Bottom line, we continued to push through a trying year and our regulars were still here.
This last year, 2021, was an interesting year to say the least. We struggled through one of the worst staffing shortages across the majority of industries, we saw unprecedented price increases and supply chain issues, and there was still Covid (Delta and Omicron.) 2021 was not just struggles, we also saw some amazing highs. We started working with The Nick Gonzales Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and with our customer’s help and the events we have had at the shop we have raised almost $5000 for this amazing charity. We started Coffee for a Cure, a specialty coffee where proceeds go towards brain tumor research. We began hosting Trivia Nights and Tea Tastings, which have been very well received. Once again, we started new relationships, some worked and some didn’t, but we learned a lot in the process. We also launched our new website. It’s still a work in progress; however, it is light years away from what we had. In 2021, we started working with a new roaster and we realized one of my goals, to carry a line of coffee that was branded The Lounge. We now have several blends that are all named in honor of my very proud United States Air Force veteran father. I couldn’t be prouder. And through all the changes our regulars were still here.
The start of 2022 is off to a great start and you helped us get here. As I write this letter, I can’t help but reminisce about the last three years, we have seen kiddos grow up right before our eyes, we have witnessed high school students that used to study here graduate and go off to their school of choice, we have had authors write parts of their books here, we have talked coffee and tea to countless people, we have made some amazing friends along the way, and every day we strive to be better. In closing there is only one thing left to say and that is…Thank You for being on this journey with us. It’s been bumpy at times, we have laughed and cried and laughed some more. We have had some great times. Who knows what the future holds, but I know we will get through the next chapter of this story together because you are a part of The Lounge family.