The world has changed in a matter of months, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that our version of normal will take the shape of something entirely different than what it was previously. So what does that mean for the local businesses that we have called home in Kansas City? How have these innovative, creative and openhearted individuals created a space to thrive in a market that no longer allows for more than 10 individuals in a room? They haven’t sat dormant, that is for certain, and there are a NUMBER of ways that you can continue to support the businesses you have loved without feeling as if you are jeopardizing the safety of yourself or others in the process. If you’re down to try, read on my friends.
Give to BaristaKC
First and foremost, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room, a lot of our favorite baristas (and other workers) are out of jobs during this difficult time. I was thrilled to see that a group of locals came together to create something known as BaristaKC to help support those who have had their hours cut or are completely out of work. These amazing individuals have created a GoFundMe where they take donations on a weekly basis to help support local baristas impacted by the shutdown. I’ve been blown away by the altruistic vibes of this group as they have come up with giveaways to raise money, local barista spotlights and other ways to show love. This is why I love Kansas City
Leave the Starbucks line behind
If there was ever a time to say goodbye to big corporations and hello to your local shop, now is it. Corporations will be fine, the line for starbucks is into the next location because there are so many, and that 7-dollar latte tastes a lot better with house made syrups.
The tides are changing, and coffee shops are beginning to open their doors with limited seating in areas around the city. Check their Instagram to see which ones are a part of this change, but also, recognize that if you desire to do so, you can still order ahead of time and pick up a drink to go. If you’d rather support from home, that’s okay too, a lot of these fantastic shops have online stores where you can purchase a bag and have it mailed directly to your house! Some shops even have some dope swag so check it out and leave a really nice tip while you’re at it.
Purchase a gift card, or 10
Not sure if you want to buy coffee right now? That’s fine, go and buy a bunch of gift cards to give to every single person in your family and make.their.day!!!! Who doesn’t love coffee? And who doesn’t need a MAJOR pick me up right now?!
Guys, this is HUGE. If you have the ability to purchase that delicious lattes with 4 shots, consider the privilege to be able to tip the wonderful humans who made it. These individuals are going above and beyond to make our days a bit better, so let’s go out of our way to make a dent in the pay cut that they have taken over the past few months by tipping.
So not surprisingly, this is the EASIEST thing you can do. If you do decide to go to local shops during this time, be nice. EVERYONE is afraid, everyone is living in a state of not knowing and everyone has their own internal struggle going on outside of the overwhelming state of the world, acknowledge it, own it and be nice! Maybe reconsider trolling the internet with hateful messages for shops that have been out of business for weeks, take a deep breath before pointing a finger at a business owner who has had his or her doors closed or hindered for months and reconsider whether or not your words are helpful or harmful. I see you trying to make a difference with your comment about priorities but for the love, please recognize that we are all just doing our best with a rather unfortunate set of circumstances. You have no idea what each individual is facing at home, you don’t know if they are struggling to feed their family or pay medical bills so consider empathy before proceeding. You’ll thank yourself later.
My spotlight for this piece is on coffee shops because let’s be real, coffee shops have served as an oasis for myself and others for the past many years in Kansas City and surrounding areas. But that does not mean I don’t understand that the disparity and uncertainty of this time extends far beyond the barista world into multiple industries. We are all in this terribly uncertain puzzle called life together. Perhaps we can each carry a piece that puts this broken world back together.