It’s exactly 12:01AM on Sunday morning. I can’t go to sleep right now, because my life (and the entire world) has just been turned upside down over the past few days. As a small business owner, these days have to be the hardest and most challenging time I have faced. Until now, I have always been able to figure out a way to navigate around even the most difficult problems. It didn’t matter what might go wrong, I had the ability to work it out.
But this time is different because of the uncertainty. This time, I can’t control things or stay up late to figure out how to solve the problems ahead. 2020 was supposed to be the year where I could look back and enjoy life a little after all of the struggles and hard work I have put into building up Waterbean Coffee into the largest and fastest growing local coffee shop. It was supposed to be the year of joy because we finally opened our sixth location off of Park Road two weeks ago. Then I was supposed to travel to Vietnam to open up our first international location. Instead, we’re now dealing with a global pandemic, and our seventh location is on hold. Here in the US, we’re facing a massive closure of all small businesses.
Throughout my life, when an obstacle was in my path, I always managed to somehow figure out a way around. However, this obstacle is different from anything I’ve faced before. I have told all of my amazing staff that, no matter what happens, I will do my best to keep things normal for them as much as possible, even though it may not be for me. It’s a challenging time for them, and I would not want to do anything that makes it more difficult, if I can help it. Every single one of our staff members that are currently working at Waterbean Coffee is a paid volunteer. I have told them that they do not have to work during this time if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Even if it means that I have to shut down my business. This is why I love being their boss. When you have the right people working for you, it makes your job a lot easier. This is especially true when we’re in a stressful time and don’t know what tomorrow will look like.
One of my favorite things to do is taking my two daughters out to eat on the weekend. Now instead of going out, we just order to take home. Even when we face uncertainty, we need to still keep everything as normal as we can. One thing that is wonderful about America is that when we are faced with adversity, we always figure out a way to push through and come out much stronger than ever by working together. Even though I have never faced anything like this in my lifetime, I know we will prevail because on the other side is a beautiful seventh location waiting for me to finish and open in Vietnam as soon as this is over.
To wrap this up, to all the wonderful Waterbean Coffee customers, please stay safe! We can’t wait until the day we get to see everyone enjoy your cup of coffee inside again. Until that happens, remember that all of our locations are open and operating on reduced hours. So if you need coffee, make sure to support our wonderful staff at this time!