It all started when YWAM took over an old hotel and turned it into living quarters for students and YWAM staff. The hotel had a restaurant and a bar. The restaurant kitchen is the domain for two cooking schools– one secular one and a YWAM one. The coffee shop, Kairos, is where the bar used to be. The coffee shop has been around for a long time. In 2011 it was a booming place, according to a Yelp review: “Not really a place for outsiders to go out of their way to patronize.”
It all changed about a year ago. YWAM asked the B.A.M (Business As Missions) team to take over Kairos and turn it into a profitable business. So they did. They made some renovations and did some advertising. One thing I hear at least once a day is: “I saw your sign and thought I’d try it out.” YWAM used to have a big sign out beside the road. The B.A.M team chopped it in half and added “Kairos Coffee House” on to it. Big hit!
The last two weeks have been interesting for me since I had to run the coffee shop on my own. One of the mangers got married and the other one was in Thailand for a B.A.M conference. It is always interesting running something you aren’t necessarily familiar with.
One day a lady came by and ordered 3 drinks. She wanted a macchiato. I know what a macchiato is: two shots of espresso and the same amount of foam, no milk. She took her drinks to her office across the street. A little while later she came back and seemed quite upset. She kept asking me what this drink was, as she showed me the cup with the two shots, the foam was pretty much all gone and now the cup was half empty (in my opinion it was half full). I tried to explain to her what it was, but our opinion about the macchiato was so different that I offered to make a new drink trying to understand what she wanted. She kept repeating that she wanted a Starbucks macchiato. I had no clue what that was. My friend who was sitting at the bar with his son then explained to me what a macchiato was and it all became clear to me that Starbucks is out there to confuse my customers.
It was very slow one day because of an east wind dropping 15 inches of snow. So I told the employees to close at 12:00 and go home. I was trying to dig my car out so I could go to the bank when one of the workers at Kairos called asking if I want to come over to do an interview with the local news. I quickly changed into some snow-free clothes and went over to the coffeeshop. A lady came over and asked some questions while she pointed the camera on me. The deal was that all the other coffeeshops in town were closed and we were the only ones open. So she asked what we did when it was slow. I told her that we make up new drinks and pointed her to our new special: Cinnamon Toast Latte. We showed her how it is done, she drank the drink, loved it and went off. We closed as soon as she left.
That same day at 5:00 I went to the neighbors and watched it on television AND out the window, as she did part of it live in front of Kairos, talking about how all the businesses are closed except this awesome coffee shop! They showed some footage of earlier and me talking in my lovely accent!
This is the second time I got on TV working at a local business. The last time was at the Mountain View Restaurant in NC and they showed a closeup of my mouth while I (“the grill master”) expedited the food with my “signature whistle.”
Here are some quotes I overheard:
Three older ladies sitting at the bar being fascinated by the syphon coffee maker. All of the sudden one pipes up and says, “Oh no, we’re late! We are supposed to pray and prophesy over people!” And off they went without their drinks.
A lady came to me the other day, asking if it was ok that the people who were sitting upstairs in the coffee shop were praying really loudly.
The Fuller Seminar is in full swing and the students come often to eat breakfast. After breakfast a lady came by and told me her school leaders gave them the assignment to go out and bless somebody, so she asked if she could pray for me.
Not a day the same!