The first one announced it was closing in late April, less than a month later my tiny village’s other independent coffee shop shut its doors for good. We’re only just beginning to see the coronavirus pandemic’s full economic toll, yet the closings of those two coffee shops hit me hard.
Small cafés, when done well, are more than merely a place to pick up a coffee or a quick meal, they reflect a community’s very soul. They’re a place to catch up on the latest neighborhood news and gossip. A measure of an area’s ability to sustain local business. A witness to both the good and the bad of a village. Their loss can be devastating.