… and where we meet matters too
“To inspire choices that lead to healthier and more vibrant communities across the Charlotte metro region for generations to come.”
– Sustain Charlotte’s Mission
I like coffee meetings; with old friends or someone I am meeting for the first time. Coffee or tea is quick and easy.
These quiet settings are also my choice if we are patching up differences or trying to reach a middle ground from opposite starting points.
Like many, I didn’t think it mattered much where we met as long as the conversation was productive.
That was before I considered the Good – Better – Best model in choosing the location.
Now, when considering where to meet, I think …
We could meet at the big chain; the one with a shop on every corner. They are good; providing jobs in the community, along with a comfortable setting. But…
A better choice is one of the local shops in our neighborhoods. They each have their own style and vibe. I am always more comfortable in local shops that give me everything I need, along with keeping the benefits in the community.
The best choice, however, is Julia’s Café & Books.
Julia’s is an easy call for me – great coffee, friendly staff, comfortable surroundings, stacks of books to browse and best of all…the proceeds go to build Habitat homes in our community.
Habitat for Humanity has a simple and powerful vision …
A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
There you have it – where we meet for coffee does matter. It matters for the family that qualifies to buy an affordable home without interest on their loan – a family that will become tax paying members of our community.
Julia Maulden gave her name to this legendary coffee and book shop. She was Habitat’s first volunteer executive director; she helped get Habitat for Humanity started in Charlotte back in 1983 with the support of seven local churches.
Today, Julia’s is home to Alex Fontánez. Just as much as where we meet for coffee matters, the barista matters and Alex is the best. Raised in southern California before moving to Reno; Alex came to Charlotte to be near his parents, sister and other relatives.
“A few months after arriving in Charlotte I volunteered for a mobilization with the Navy. The mobilization was to Kuwait, but soon after arriving, I was sent to Afghanistan. That was an eye opening experience to say the least. After a year, I made it home – all in one piece. I’m grateful for that.
“When I got home, I felt so thankful for America that I wanted to give back somehow. My research lead me to Habitat for Humanity and I started volunteering. When I saw an opening in the coffee shop, I jumped in, then a staff spot opened up.”
Alex has become a major asset to Julia’s and is now the supervisor. Alex, like so many, is putting his drops in the bucket to make life better for all of us.
“I am grateful to get to interact with so many amazing people every day. From the regulars, to the people just stopping in on their way through town. I think we’re providing a service for the community in offering a place to meet and enjoy delicious, locally sourced products.
“It’s important for me to support local businesses, but it’s even better when that business supports the community in return…in more ways than one.”
Now, I will always look for the Good – Better – Best choice when considering our meeting spot.
Julia’s may not be practical because of where you live, but are there Julia type shops in your neighborhood or city? I have found some as I travel … let us know what you find.
When you meet friends for coffee, does it matter where you meet? Should it? Why?
If shopping local matter to you, what local merchants do you know?
Have you been to Julia’s? Is the Habitat for Humanity connection a plus for you? Have you been next door to ReStore?
As always, the conversation starts here.
“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.”
– Eknath Easwaran