Mike told me about this amazing new coffee shop that just opened. Mike said it was named Cheers Woodstock where Everyone Knows Your Name. He said I had to visit it. He didn’t say why, he just said expect the unexpected.
Well Thursday morning, I had some free time, no meetings, no clients just some free morning time. I drove downtown, found a parking spot and then took a short walk down the street. The sun was on my face and a warm breeze was to my back. The trees lining the streetscape were starting to bloom. It was still late winter but the Red-bud trees were bursting forth in full glorious red. Even the bold yellow daffodils in the warm sunshine were in full bloom as I walked by the park. I bent down to touch them and they touched me back.
I turned the corner and there it was. A big sign that said Cheers Woodstock. Between the warm sun, the blooming red-buds and the bold yellow daffodils I was already in a great mood. But when I saw the big Cheers sign hanging over the two large antique weathered green doors, my heart and my mood ratcheted up even another notch up.
So I put my hand on the large bronze door handle, pulled the door open and walked in. Something strange then happened. As soon as I stepped in I heard a voice say,
Hi Steve, welcome to Cheers.
I was stunned. I looked toward the voice, the warm and welcoming voice of a young blond haired woman, who somehow knew my name. How did this stranger know my name?
As I walked towards her I noticed something odd. No one had their eyes buried in their laptops. No one had their blank minds staring at their cell phones. I looked close and saw that no one even had a laptop or cellphone or ear buds or even a Fit around their wrist. Was this still 2017?
I thought, have I stepped back in time? People were smiling, talking and actually looking each other in the eye. Looking each other in the eye! Imagine that. I saw no frowns, no scowls, no worried looks, just people smiling, laughing and enjoying one another’s company.
By now I’m at the beautiful hard wood counter. It looked and felt like a large beautiful late 1800’s counter from an old country store in Georgia. the North Carolina mountains, where we used to take the kids to years ago. The young curly haired smiling woman welcomes me again.
Welcome to Cheers Woodstock Steve. How may we serve you this glorious morning?
Now I am really stunned but I figure i’ll just go along with this for awhile. Maybe I am just dreaming, but it feels real. I look at the simple, but large chalk board behind her, smile and order a medium coffee.
Thank you Steve, I’m so happy you stopped by to say hello today. If you need anything else while you’re here, just let me know.
For the next hour I talk with people. I talk with Susan and Chris, then Felicia and Tom, then Tamara and Tammy, then Mike and it seems like everyone in Cheers. I listen in awe to their fabulous stories. I realize anew how natural and how good it is to just spend time with old friends and making new friends and sharing stories. Just talking and listening and encouraging and sharing a fleeting hour of our precious day with one another. No phones, no laptops no agendas, just eye to eye and soul to soul sharing of time.
It’s time to leave, so I head to the big green doors up front. I put my hand on the well-worn big brass handles and reluctantly push the doors open to leave. I start to step out again into the warm sun. And just as I cross the threshold of time to exit, I hear Barbara’s voice again.
Hey, Steve, thank you for coming in today. Thank you for coming to Cheers, where everyone knows, and loves to call your name.
I walk out to the sidewalk, the Red-bud trees are still in bloom, the yellow tulips are still bursting, the breeze is now to my face and I think to myself…I cannot wait for tomorrow! Dream or not, tomorrow morning I will wake up with a smile. For tomorrow I will to go back to: Cheers Woodstock “where everyone knows your name”.
Now hold onto your hats my friends. What if this wasn’t just a dream. What if it was a Vision?
What if Cheers Woodstock became real? What if there really was a place where everyone there, did know your name. And what if it was a friendly, happy and wonderful place for you and your friends and perhaps even their dogs to go to meet one another. A wonderful uplifting place to share a coffee, tea, or whole food snack, and a wholesome treat for their pet as well.
And while we are dreaming and visioning big what if there were Cheers Woodstock’s across Georgia, or crazier yet, across the whole country just like Starbucks. But instead of cell phones and laptops and business talk people came there to talk with one another. Talk about interesting things, timeless things, new things and share stories together.
And, imagine a business, a nonprofit business, where the profits didn’t go to Wall Street, or stockholders, but went to families with animals in need. Wouldn’t it be refreshing and all so nice to enjoy an hour with your friends and help make a life of another better while you do it?
Someone once said if you’re going to dream, might as well make it good, and make it big, real big.
Green Pets America is dreaming big. We are Visioning big. If you want to dream big and dream good, then please join with us. Drop us an email and let us know if want to come to Cheers, Woodstock – “where everyone knows your name”
To learn more about Cheers Woodstock email Steve Monahan, founder Executive Director, Green Pets America Charities: Steve@GreenPetsAmerica.org