There’s something about small, cozy coffee shops in the winter, a steaming caramel latte and “Drunk Last Night” playing on my Pandora that puts me in the mood to write my little cares away. (I promise, I wasn’t actually drunk last night. I was most definitely in bed by 10 p.m.)
I’m sitting here, watching locals enjoy conversation, sipping delicious Brazilian coffee blends and nibbling at homemade tarts—taking it all in, one glance, one sip, one taste at a time. And I’m in my element. I’m alone, yet I still feel a part of something bigger, something cultural.
I make polite conversation with a woman sitting next to me, quite a few years my senior. She asks if I’m a student—curse my baby face! I graciously inform her that I graduated last spring and have an adult job a few towns away. Take that, townie. (Just kidding—she was sweet. Be nice to your elders!)
In between comments about the appeal of smaller quaint businesses and the art of a well-crafted latte, I peek out the window to witness the hustle and bustle of Greensburg traffic. I feel a bit of longing, though. A longing for the way things used to be in towns, before malls and supercenters and the American “run, run, run” lifestyle.
Maybe I’m just profoundly attracted to small businesses—I have been slightly and unhealthily obsessed with them since my high school days. I think what so stunningly appeals to me most is the fact that my barista remembers that I order a caramel latte, and gives me a strange glance when I order a regular coffee. There’s a sense of hospitality and memorability of small businesses that cannot be found elsewhere.
Although Greensburg is becoming more and more developed as we speak, I’d like it to be thriving—on a regular basis. It’s a college town, after all. We need these small businesses. Heck, people love them. They flock to them.
The small business is, in fact, so attractive to American consumers because we are finally becoming sick and tired of being just a number or a bottom line. That’s not to say that small businesses are cheaper or always friendlier or anything of that sort. From personal experience, however, I’d just like to say—they rock. Keep ‘em coming, Greensburg!
P.S. – If you’re wondering what coffee shop I’m raving about, check out The White Rabbit on East Pittsburgh Street. You won’t regret it—unless you’re the minority of college students that hates tasty pastries, in which case, steer clear. More muffins for me!