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Creating Community 1 Bagel at a time

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


"A girl sees in the world what she carries in her heart" by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, from "Faust".   This quote was recently sent to me by a good friend and my daughter Madeline and I have been discussing what it means and

looking for examples of it in our every day lives.  While on our annual March Break Maple Syrup making adventure we came across what we think was an excellent example of that idea.  The City Café Bakery in Kitchener Ontario

is located in what was once an old gas station.  It has bagels, croissants, wood fired pizza, melts, breads of all types,  brownies, good coffee, lots of parking and more.  There are 3 locations and each are unique with funky

exterior paint jobs  and outdoor patios.  When you walk in the front door of each of  the cafés you are immediately greeted by the  fire blazing in the wood fired oven and are surrounded by great music.  My family loves to visit

these café's when we are in that part of the world.  Actually, we love to look for good food whenever we travel.    What we love about these  cafe’s is that they are based on the honour system of paying for your bread or pizza

or coffee.  City Café doesn't have Interac or accept credit cards. Neither will you see a cash register in the bakery. Instead, customers add up how much they owe themselves (there is a calculator to assist) and drop their

money into a fare box from an old bus.  (The staff  do have change on hand if someone is buying something that costs $1.50 and they only have a $20

bill).  It is just such a great lesson for my daughter about many things - about being creative, about trusting your clients and your staff and yourself, about the power of making something really good, about creating a

sense of community one bagel at a time. We talked about how the owner/ creator of these businesses believes in the goodness, honesty and integrity of his clients.    One of the staff told me that people often give more than what their bill is. Perhaps they are generous because the café is generous. In the practice of qigong I have a favourite move where we put our hands together in front of our hearts and as we inhale we press our hands forward

and out  and I say "send love and goodness out into the universe/ community" and then we move our arms around our body and our hands back on our belly

and I say "and as much as you send out, 10 times as much comes back your way."   It is an interesting concept to consider.  I definitely felt like the City Café Bakery is sending goodness out in the community one bagel at a

time!  

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