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NOT PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

How a Simple Coffee Made My Day

And a little lesson in community-building.

I wasn’t planning to write a blog post today, but something happened this morning that’s just too good not to share.


You see, the photo below probably just looks like a cup of coffee to you. And if you look really closely, you’ll see the words “NOT PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE.” This is going to sound strange, but I have never been more grateful for a “NOT PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE” than I am right now because this is what community looks like. And this is what we’ve been trying to build at the HUB 127 for the past 12 months.





The Risk of a Spicy Take

Ok, ok. What does the coffee have to do with community? Let’s go back to yesterday. I sent out our monthly newsletter with a spicy take on Pumpkin Spice. (You can access our newsletter here). Namely, the fact that it’s overrated and fine in some circumstances, but absolutely should not be anywhere near my coffee. I knew it was a dangerous stance to take.


And truthfully, I rarely get any feedback from the monthly newsletter. In fact, Mailchimp tells me that usually less than half of our members even open it. But this morning, a member walked in looking very serious and said, “I read your newsletter and your thoughts on Pumpkin Spice.”


Oh no, I thought. Here comes the moment when we can no longer be friends. (A little dramatic, I know). But instead, he said, “I completely agree with you. Pumpkin Spice is trash so I made you this NOT Pumpkin Spice latte.” And I have to tell you, this is one delicious latte, partly because it’s just so darn good and partly because I feel heard and seen.


And that, my friends, is what builds community — when we hear each other about the big things and the little things alike. When we take a moment to acknowledge one another. When we communicate that we value each other for more than just another person in our workspace.


I catch glimpses of this community when I hear members sharing community resources with one another; when one member encourages another in her husband’s medical journey; when members gather at the coffee pot and talk about their day; when members give tours to their friends and family and talk about what a fantastic place this is to work; when a member brings in a treat for the rest of the coworkers or gifts us coffee from a recent vacation.


At the risk of sounding sappy, I’m grateful. The HUB 127 is so much more than a place to work. Yes, it is a place for productivity and flexibility and creativity. But it’s also a place for community, and that is where the true value is found.



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