I’d like to take a moment and introduce you to two very dear friends of mine, Jaimie Miller and Victoria Hawkins, owners of Between Friends Coffee Shop located in Warner Robins, Georgia. A place that I like to call ‘The Best Little Coffee Shop in Georgia.’
That’s an unofficial title, of course, but one that is entirely fitting.
When you first walk in, Between Friends looks just like any other coffee shop. There are plenty of tables and chairs to sit at. There’s a couch in the far corner. You can easily see the large display of pastries available. There’s a table for kids to sit and color while mothers chat about the latest piece of juicy gossip. All the things you’d typically find in a locally owned coffee shop.
But that’s not what sets this little place apart.
No. These two ladies have created an establishment that is far greater than the sum of their parts. If you go there more than twice, you’re one of the family. They know you. In that way, it’s more like Cheers than Starbucks. If you want to go somewhere where everyone knows who you are and are happy to see you, go to Between Friends. If you need to take a break from the stressors in the world, go to Between Friends. If you want to relax and enjoy a good book or maybe laugh until your sides ache, go to Between Friends. Don’t have a book, you can borrow one of their’s from their lending library. They’ve got as many great recommendations for books as they have for coffee.
On any given day, you’re as likely to run into Jaimie’s husband Wes and her two adorable kids as you are a group of people laughing at the booth in the corner. You may get to witness a marriage proposal. It’s hard not to instantly feel better about the world with so much love in the air and you’re staring at a plate sized, homemade cinnamon roll. One of the two is bound to lift your spirits.
I first met Victoria years ago when we were both active in the local fencing club. She was a fierce sparring partner who easily outmatched my limited athletic abilities. (Although I did manage to get in the odd touch from time to time.) We quickly developed a friendship that has continued to this day.
It wasn’t until after the grand opening of Between Friends last August that I met Jaimie. I’m not one to normally make fast friends, but she has a way of disarming even the most cautious of souls to create deep-rooted, meaningful relationships. Our friendship quickly developed and continues to grow.
I’m proud to call both of these ladies my friends and I’m proud of the work they’ve done with their shop.
Yet I’m not writing this post to merely speak about my friendship with two strong and intelligent women and the wonderful business they’ve created. No, I have ulterior motives for this piece. You see, they are currently in the running for a small business grant from FedEx. The grand prize is $25,000. For a small, independently run coffee shop, that could be life changing.
Too often, we find ourselves visiting the large, chain establishments and overlooking the little guy. But let’s not lose sight of the impact small businesses have on our communities. These establishments are the backbone of our economy. It’s estimated that 60-80% of jobs here in the U.S. are due to small business enterprises. Imagine what would happen if these businesses didn’t exist. The entire U.S. economy would plummet, followed quickly by the global economy. Small businesses provide huge economic growth for the communities they serve. Small businesses just like Between Friends Coffee Shop.
And so my friends and readers, I’m asking that you take a moment out of your time and offer support to this growing small business endeavor. Please vote for Between Friends Coffee Shop in the FedEx Small Business Grant. Polls are open until April 5, and you can vote daily. Small businesses provide the heart and soul of our communities. Now we have a chance to support them in a big way.
And, if you’re in the Central Georgia area, stop in for your favorite cup of Joe and a fresh hot cinnamon roll. After all, coffee is better Between Friends.