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Written by: Drea Macias

Had anyone told me almost two years ago that I would find myself working as a barista I would not have believed them. Twenty-two months ago I was entirely too caught up in my own mind to think about what it means to serve others in this way. Then, I would’ve probably said that I was not equipped to take on that position. Now, I cannot imagine what my life would have looked like without Enderly and everything that comes with it. Honestly, I cannot remember much else from that time apart from making sure I could find something in common with Tecoby. Oh, that and figuring how I was supposed to master latte art overnight.

Fast forward a few months in at the café, and I’ve learned a few things. My latte art starts looking less abstract. I recognize a few faces, they recognize mine, and I see these Enderly regulars at least once a week. Then, just when I think that I’m getting the hang of things, we’re told to go into lockdown. At this point, I’m working part-time at the café and part-time at the Enderly roastery. Part of me kept thinking that if I thought things would continue as “normal”, then they would. They did for a while. I’m grateful for that time because it was a time of transition in my personal life when I needed something to stay consistent. Enderly was a place I knew I could continue to see myself in when everything else was changing.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when we got a text from Tony, but I know that it said something along the lines of “if I can keep Enderly open and you all employed, then I will”. That was my lifeline because my constant in this season of life was no longer safe. Our café doors stayed open, but we’d see fewer people every day until we saw maybe one or two at most. There was this ominous presence inside the shop as we opened up every morning because we knew we wouldn’t see or interact with many people for more than a few minutes. We kept our tables and chairs stacked up high hoping that wouldn’t deter anyone from stopping by. Even then Tecoby and I helped implement our new routines, we would take turns thoroughly cleaning just about every surface.

We would talk about anything and everything to distract from our fears. Oddly enough, even with uncertainty looming, that is when we all got to know each other best. Tony spent countless hours pivoting, doing so with transparency keeping us all on the same page. Tecoby and I formed a bond that I didn’t know I needed, a bond that blossomed into a beautiful friendship.

In so many ways, my experience during the pandemic differs from most, and especially from those that did their part by staying home. The expectation was the same, I was supposed to keep working until working was no longer an option. The time in which we all played our roles with the Hospital Coffee Drops and Friday Delivery seems like so long ago. Writing the notes that went along with every 2lb bag of coffee for the healthcare workers on the front lines served as a reminder that there was still hope.

People were showing up for each other in a new way. Packaging Friday Delivery orders reminded me that people were still showing up for small, local businesses. In a way you all also showed up for me, and there are no words to describe how thankful I am to have floated through that season of life.

I learned that I formed beautiful relationships, discovered new creative outlets like film photography, and most importantly the confidence I needed to believe in myself. It was all of that that inspired me to start over in New York. I couldn’t have done it without my Enderly fam and a lot of Enderly coffee.

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