Have you ever been somewhere that immediately made you feel at home? A local coffee shop, a bar, or a friend’s house?
Our home is in Asheville, but it didn’t always feel this way. When Robbie and I moved to Asheville we knew no one. I repeat, NO ONE except Robbie’s brother and his family. It was extremely hard to move to a new city and start over. If you’ve ever moved away from a big community or close family you may know the feeling. It can be a rude awakening and a tough transition to get used to. It takes time and sometimes months.
One experience changed our transition dramatically.
This experience happened on a day we were exploring our new city. We were driving around and stumbled upon a local doughnut shop around the corner from our house. We pulled up and took notice of a cute little cream building with a blue, vintage doughnut truck parked outside. When I walked in I immediately noticed the old school spinning bar stools stretched across a long rectangle table facing where the doughnuts were freshly made. It felt like a mom and pop place.
Initially our family received an inviting welcome. The owner, Caroline asked us our names and asked how we were doing. She then began to take our order.
We grabbed some coffee, took a seat, and patiently watched as Caroline and another worker, Lindsey dropped freshly cut, round-shaped dough into the fryer while simultaneously engaging with everyone that came in and out of the shop.
I had a feeling this was going to be special place for our family.
Caroline soon came over to where we were sitting and asked where we were from and we got to know her a little more. She seemed really genuine and a down-to-earth kind of gal. We finished chatting, devoured our doughnuts, and then headed out to explore more of Asheville.
We left that day feeling like for the first time Asheville could be home to us. We were already planing our next visit for more doughnuts. What was it about our experience that had us head over heals over this cute, little doughnut shop?
No doubt the doughnuts were delightfully delicious but honestly, it was the people that did it for us. They made us feel important and cared for. It was the littlest of things like remembering our names, engaging us in conversation, and smiling our way. They made us feel at home and gave us hope to stick around.
Since that day we have spent more money on doughnuts and coffee than we’d care to admit but this little local doughnut shop has more meaning to us than the taste and the caffeine offered. It has meaning because we felt valued and cared for during a hard season of transition, little did they know.
Our experience thus far with Hole Doughnuts has encouraged our little family to show value to people wherever we go. You never know what people may be going through and the littlest of things can lift others up like they did for us.
I wrote in the past about how we can teach our kids to show value to people but we must first set an example ourselves.
A small gesture of kindness, a helping hand, a “how are you?”, and a smile changes the world. I believe this with my whole being. Every night we have this family ritual where we ask our boys, “Are you going to change the world?”. We love listening to their responses and how they plan to do it. We try to encourage them they can change the world by showing kindness, value, and love to everyone they meet.
The same goes for you and me. It’s the littlest things y’all, like doughnuts and calling people by their names that goes a long way. Kindness changes everything.
It’s funny what a doughnut shop can teach you.