The Importance of Presence

By Tim Coonan, Founder of Big Shoulders Coffee

It is no secret that life can be hectic. Deadlines, emails, phone calls...all of it makes that proverbial “hamster wheel” feel more real than ever.  The minute we step out from our doors we are swept away by a flood of “to do’s”.  This high energy existence is equally exhausting as it is thrilling and is one of the reasons I founded Big Shoulders Coffee. Each Big Shoulders Coffee location is designed to give people a sanctuary from the craziness of day to day life and it all starts with presence. 


We hear a lot about being present lately and the importance of “being” over “doing”. But what exactly does this mean? How do we, a coffee shop, be present for each person that walks through our doors? For me, I believe it comes down to the attitude that I, and every Big Shoulders employee, bring to work each day.  It does beyond a glass that is “half full”.  It is a series of decisions we make from the time we wake up until we go to sleep.  Am I going to yell at the person who just cut me off or am I going to let it go?  Do I regard the crabby person in front of me with disdain or do I look at them with empathy?  Is it all about me or is it about serving the other?  All of these small choices determine our ability to be present and create a refuge of peace and calm for the people who walk through our doors.


I try my best to be an example for my team by treating everyone, employee and customer, friend and stranger, with manners. While I cannot claim that I succeed 100% of the time, my hope is that I make those small choices well often enough that I inspire my employees to do the same.  Creating a culture based on service, kindness, manners and presence is what defines the Big Shoulders experience. I am proud of my team and the way in which each person adds positively to our culture.


To all of our customers that have joined us, I hope we have given you that space of calm and welcome. To those who have not visited us yet, I invite you to join us in one of our locations and give us the opportunity to serve you and bring you a moment of calm in a busy world.