A place for coffee and community

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readJan 29, 2023
We all have a favorite place for coffee and community.

Friday mornings are my favorite mornings of the week. Instead of heading straight to the office, I get to hang out at a coffee shop, Blueberry Café, in the historic downtown section of my hometown. It’s a small place that feels like it belongs just right where it is.

For me, it’s more than a hang out, it’s an opportunity to visit with new friends, and see a lot of old ones too. When the owner is running late, dropping off her kids at school or doing other mom things, she knows we have her back.

Some time ago, she gave me a key to the place. I felt special until she said others had a key to the place. She’s a trusting person. You have to be that kind of person when you are running a small business while also being a mom and juggling a separate full-time job. We trust her to let us be there on Friday mornings. To turn on the lights and get the coffee pot going. She trusts us too.

I never knew how to brew up a latte until she gave me a quick and dirty lesson. She said I should know just in case the place got too busy for her and she needed a helping hand. I’m no barista, but she taught me, and once in a while she needs that helping hand.

On Fridays, there are a lot of helping hands. Sometimes they come from the local domestic violence shelter case worker. She’s a Friday regular. When she’s there, she tells of success stories, the ladies who came in without hope and who left with not just hope but a chance for a new beginning. She helped them.

There’s a colleague from the college that stops by and shares his homemade burritos. Still warm, they are wrapped in foil, marked “B” for beans and “C” for chorizo. He doesn’t charge us, and everyone expects them. It’s our Friday morning breakfast. He helps us.

People come and go on Friday mornings. Business owners, non-profit workers. The tamale lady (she helps me with my cravings), the guys from across the street coming out of the gym for some refueling. They all help in their own way, buying a cup of coffee, sharing hellos and handshakes.

I like to have places to go on the same day of the week, at the same time of the day. It makes me feel like I made it to another Friday. Another time for…

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Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.