After years of obsessing over food, real estate, and community development, I am combining my passions. Maybe obsession is too heavy of a word. But what else describes a trilogy of passions that have matured with me since childhood? What other word sums up my ever-present love, devotion, and fixation regarding all areas of my trifecta. What I love about all three is the sense of home and place that each evoke.

Whether gathering around a table, picnic blanket, or campfire, sharing a meal creates a feeling of warmth and a little bit of peace (if only for a moment). I grew up in kitchens. My dad was a nomadic chef, and I was always in tow. Maybe it’s the romanticized nostalgia of an era past, but to me, food is magical.

Also in my younger years (and even until this day), I would seek out vacant and abandoned buildings and imagine all the lives lived within the walls. I would make and tell their stories until they were my own. Real estate is home in the most literal form – a structural building for protection. A space to hold and shelter you – in all its intricacies, rooms, levels, shapes, and sizes – it is safety.

Developing a community sounds too calculating and intentionally forced – as though you’re creating something from where there was nothing. My community development is just the opposite. In essence, it is about taking a metaphorical band and wrapping it around the current neighbors and drawing everyone close. It’s about conversations and laughter. It’s about parks, bike lanes, bus stops, streetlights, and block parties, an open living room – cooperative engagement.

That is ultimately what I yearn for in life: cooperative engagement, safety, and a sprinkle of magic.

To have this, I am combining my passions.

Cole is the co-owner and Business Development Manager for the café.

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