Livin' la Vida Loca(l)
Every time I think about writing something about our value of “Local Living” at Myrtle & Cypress, this song enters my brain.
Every. Single. Time.
I know it’s cheesy, but it entertains me, and I almost always start giggling under my breath. One of these times, I mentioned it to Eric. “Living la Vida Local….get it? (snicker, snicker)” I can usually count on Eric to join me in a word punning reverie, but this time I just got a head-shake.
I wouldn’t risk sharing my cheesiness with you all today, but something happened this week that makes this ridiculous pun, actually, a little bit relevant.
We at M&C have this crazy idea that people can have an impact on the place where they live, and therefore, so can a business! So when we realized that we were really going to do this thing, we began dreaming about how Myrtle & Cypress could not only be a successful coffee house in Omaha, but how it could actually, first and foremost, serve the surrounding neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, all sorts of things make that not seem like the brightest of ideas.
Person: “Who is your target market?”
Us: “Everyone who lives in and around GP!”
Person: “Ok, so what are they like?”
You get the picture. It’s really hard to design a business for a particular audience when the only thing they have in common is geography. It’s a bit of an experiment, but our strategy is to show up with what we have and who we are and make it as accessible to our neighbors as possible.
It’s a beautiful idea, to most people. What makes it crazy is...
It’s hard. Our neighborhood is so diverse, that we don’t have a spitting chance of being able to reach even a fraction of our neighbors on social media. So far, the only other choice is canvassing the neighborhood with fliers and chatting with anyone who happens to be out….in October and November…when most people in Gifford Park begin their yearly hibernation…Hmmmm…
It’s risky. Not everyone will appreciate our methods or even our message. We don’t even have anything to offer yet! The situation I eluded to earlier has to do with a neighbor being disappointed with us for taking fliers to people's’ houses. He found it “intrusive” and, now, “questions our values “(possibly due to causing paper litter?). Showing up is risky. But the thing is, we want to give everyone the chance to get involved. Right now showing up with what we have means showing up with a fundraiser and creating awareness in the best ways we know how to.
There’s no getting around it. Living the Local Life is a bit crazy, so why even try? Well, we actually feel that it’s our responsibility. Because like it or not, people have an impact on the people around them and our aim is to be a business that doesn’t take this lightly and lives the local life (in all its craziness) with our neighborhood’s well-being in mind.
We have about 2 weeks left in our ifundwomen campaign, so we are ready to hit the streets! Along with distributing fliers, we are planning on surprising some local spots with free hot coffee! Do you have any ideas of ways to reach our neighbors before we open? Let us know your ideas, if you can help us spread the word to your friends and neighbors (we have fliers!) or if you know of a group of people we could surprise with hot coffee on a cold November day!