This is the logo we created with the help of my talented, computer animator, brother! The silver frame around the chalkboard is part of our story.
You see, when my husband and I owned Jahva House, this hung on the wall over the counter.
The board was covered with coffee drinks and prices. It was eclectic just like our coffee shop. Our coffee station was an old secretary that we had painted green and it was full of sugars, stirrers, lids and half and half. It sat right next to the stone fire place.
Another chalkboard hung by the front door and it always held a proverb of the day. The walls were full of original artwork.
The floors were 200 year old wood and were a bit wonky just like our three story store. The tables all had a different picture painted on them. They were done by local high school students and the chairs were an eggplant purple color. Tunes like Morcheeba, Rusted Root and Marley played throughout the day. Many times we had a barista with dreads to the middle of their back or an artist like David Sitek who was making a few extra bucks to pursue his passion. Up the stairwell, one of our talented employees had painted a textured fire mural up the wall. The second floor always smelled of roasted red peppers, garlic and onions. You could also get a sniffter of fresh lemon that was used in the homemade hummus. Our vegetarian menu kept the shop filled with fresh flavors! On the third floor, customers with kids could retreat. Their kids could play with toys while the parents relaxed on the white leather couch. They could also shop. Chris Ann’s vintage boutique was dispersed throughout the three floors. I remember a black globe, an over sized cut glass mirror, a hand painted red tray. We were living Fancy Friday out.
Every Wednesday night, there would be a line halfway down the block. Some nights there were police stationed at the door. It was Open Mic night after all. Open Mic took on a life of it’s own. Our customers made it their own. They began to organize the lists, advertise the night and pack the house. A few great musicians, (like Ellen Cherry, We’re About 9 and IlyAIMY (journaling here about Jahva House) just getting started, rolled through there. Fridays and Saturdays you could come and sip your mocha and order a Bella Donna and listen to live music. Sunday nights, you could come and join a group called XScape and explore all matters of faith. You’d find Buddhists, atheists, Christians and wiccans discussing why they believed what they believed. This night was hosted by Todd, Chris Ann’s husband.
When we sold the coffee shop, most of it remained…but, this chalkboard came with us. It represented so much.
A couple of years later, Devon and I sold all that we had, including our house. We were headed off to travel the world with our four kids. I went over to Chris Ann’s. She was packing up her boxes to move back to Minnesota. Our houses sold within a month of each other. I gave her this chalkboard.
And like the tea set, she cried. She knew what it represented. It represented a part of our journey.
The journey that took a risk to open a coffee shop on a dream and a dime (literally…but, I’ll share more about that later). A journey that allowed us all to meet amazing people and have incredible conversations. A journey about faith. A journey that afforded us an outlet to explore music, art and things that just made us happy. A journey that always had good food and coffee at it’s center. A journey of friendship.
That’s why, good friends, the chalkboard is still a part of our journey!
I made one this week for a friend. I found a vintage mirror at a thrift store. I wiped it clean and took it a part.
Then I flipped the mirror over and primed it and the frame. I let them dry for an hour.
Then I sprayed silver paint on the frame.
Followed with a spray of black chalkboard paint.
After another hour, I did this step again. I put it together and gave it a few special touches.
This gift went with me to Virginia. It stood in line with me for 3 hours.
Just to give it to her.
She had inspired us to continue on this journey and we just wanted to thank her.
So, thank you Ree for following your passions and for allowing us to join you every day at your Table. We hope this chalkboard brings you good conversations, inspiration, great food (and coffee) and friendship!
~Kristin and Chris Ann