Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goodbye, Acorn

10 days, ago, we had our last day of business at the Acorn cafe.  Today I packed up just about the last of the inventory that is not a part of the sale of our assets, which includes cd's, silverware and the cadmium yellow mugs that held the perfect americano.  Tomorrow, with any luck, Jeff and I will sign the papers releasing these assets to a buyer.  Soon, all of the debt we incurred from opening and accrued in operating the Acorn will be paid off and soon after that the phase of my life as a business owner will come to an end.   It will be an enormous relief and also a sad day when I say a final goodbye to the success of one brand and the failure of another. 

  So today I was taking down all of these filled-out coffee cards and wondering what to do with them.  Every card has space for your name and you filed your card alphabetically, or however you wanted to.  When you came in and ordered your coffee, the person behind the counter marked your visit and after ever 10, your eleventh drink was free.  Simple.  I look at this wall and it breaks my heart.  Every card belonged to a participant in a creative experiment that began as a dream to make a little more money and then turned into the symbol of economic and personal failure.  Unlike Half & Half, Acorn never had the commanding presence of a boss.  Everyone and no one was the boss.   The scope of creative expression by the Acorn's real owners, the employees and loyal customers, are evidenced by the handwritten signs, notes and clippings affixed with scotch tape that tattooed the shop and that I spent the better part of my morning scraping off the new owner's walls and equipment. 

If I had the time and the thoughtfulness I would have asked people to come in and take what they wanted of this giant collage, but my house and life is already full of mementos I don't have time to honor, so everything went into a blue recycling bin.  I wasn't going to take pictures but I'm glad I did.  I think these are the only that I have of the Acorn in it's almost 2 years of operation.  

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