The Market at Chapel Hill

October 3, 2015

A day that will be written in the book of BEST.

Before Cody and I started our coffee cart business, we released a video, sharing our business model and what we were planning to do.

Within 24 hours, we received a phone call asking us to be the coffee providers for The Market at Chapel Hill at The Waters.

We were blown away by the invite but SO thrilled to get to be a part of it all!

That exhausting, freezing, cold, wet, and rainy day was one for the books.

The night before it opened, we had dinner with all the vendors.

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I happened upon this sweet lady.

MissMustardSeed , as everyone calls her, was so gracious to my lack of knowledge on anything DIY.  We snagged this shot for my friend charlotte, who is a real-life #fangirl.

Miss Mustard Seed, her hubby, and two helpers were our BIGGEST customers on Saturday and we were so thankful we could have BURST.

imageWe woke at 5 am the next morning, a whole EXTRA hour of sleep for the Bells. 🙂

We were really joyful about that.

My sweet Aunt and Uncle hosted us in their home, let us fill it with coffee aroma …and grounds.

They were so gracious in helping us prepare for the most hectic day of our business career… the whole whopping 2 months of it.

Did I mention that October 3 was exactly 2 months for us with Market Town… we were a little excited about it!

image People loved the Market Town Mugs, AND our hot coffee.

We sold almost all of our mugs and so much coffee that our hands were stained by it.

imageSO many people have asked us who our coffee providers are!

Goat Hill Coffee Roasters 🙂

Cody and decided to brand our roasting business. We had to say goodbye to Bell Blend due to excess sales and new blends of coffee we roasted!  We were excited to share with others our roasting business there too!

it was a HIT! 

We brought bags of the coffee, our Montgomery T shirts, and Greeting Cards done by Nalin Khantisouryia.

If you loved Bell Blend, don’t worry, Goat Hill still carries the original.  Click the link to Goat Hill and subscribe to monthly coffee bags to your door!

imageMy sweet Mama and Aunt, Kathy, joined our business team!

Let. Me. Tell. You.

Those two can SELL.

We sold so much stuff because they are

1)Fabulous

2)Beautiful women

3) They REALLY love our coffee, shirts, and Nalin’s cards.

It was just a win-win situation.

imageWe were set up next to a yummy bakery from Union Springs, so people just HAD to have Coffee with their treats!

We sold hundreds and hundreds of cups of coffee.  

We shared our story with hundreds and hundreds of people.

We met hundreds and hundreds that already knew our story and supported us.

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Surely there were angels surrounding us, helping us move quickly and still sometimes look at each other and smile.

Cody Bell swooped me up at one point in a big excited hug and kissed my forehead.

I couldn’t tell if I was happier to be hugged for warmth from the bitter wind or if I was just swooning over that fine man. 

It was probably a little bit of both.

There were so many times where I looked at that sweet man of mine and thought… ‘wow, what did I do to deserve a man who wants to bless people so much?’image

To say that that day was blessed beyond measure, is a complete understatement.

It is treasured in hearts.

We sure do hope we can see all you fine folks of Pike Road, Alabama again next year! 

#nationalcoffeeday

A few days ago I was at our coffee cart.

The hustle and bustle of foot traffic was moving heavily passed me.

I smiled and waved at all the passers-by and served those who stopped.

But one woman stopped with no intention of buying coffee.

She was blond with a big smile and a sense of urgency and nervousness in her tone.

“Hi there, how’s it going?” I asked her, hoping it might calm her nerves.

“Hey Darlin!” she said.

gotta love a southern lady.image

She continued, “I saw Mr. Billy yesterday running  around in the park having to hold on to his pants because they were too big for him.  I asked God what to do, and, well, could you give this to him today if you see him?” she said as she handed me an old worn out belt.  “I hate to put this on you, but I might not get a chance to today and I don’t want him to miss out on having this.”

Mr. Billy is a man who wanders around downtown.  He is sweet, always showing me his lottery letters, saying that he has been acknowledged for sending in his information.

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He runs around downtown, waving at folks, smiling all the time, and letting people know who all the downtown heathens are!

“Oh, yes, sure!” I said.

She hurried away before I could catch her name.

A few hours later, Mr. Billy comes running up to me, yelling out “Mrs. Laura, Mrs. Laura, I got an apartment today! I’m getting off the streets!”

We exchanged the worlds best high five and I proceeded to hand him the belt that was left for him.

“oh Mrs. Laura, it is so nice! For me? Are you sure?” he asked, in complete delight over this tattered belt.

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“Yeah I’m sure, someone left it for you!” I said.

“This is the best day! Did you know God is good Mrs. Laura? He’s so good. He gave me a belt today!”

“He is!” I agreed.

That moment was pretty defining to me.

A woman who gave a little of her time and her husbands old possessions, made someone’s day.

Mr. Billy was way more excited about his new belt than he was his new apartment.

Me? Well, I realized how much more my placement became as the girl at the coffee cart. 

Somedays it’s hard to stand there, hear peoples opinions of what they think of you as they walk by.

Somedays it feels tiring and too much to my schedule.

But then, there comes the day when all the hard work pays off.

When we get to give away our first profits to an incredible organization that is fighting human trafficking in the River Region.

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Blanket Fort Hope came by the cart to receive their donation a few weeks ago.

It was SO much fun getting to meet all those self-less giving people who started such an amazing organization.

It wasn’t us that did that gave that donation, it was all who came by and bought a cup of coffee.

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It wasn’t me who brought that belt for Mr. Billy.

It wasn’t me who started an organization rescuing kids from traffickers.

It was God’s people, doing great things, fighting the urge to stay selfish and set each other free.

Happy #nationalcoffeeday to all you giving and loving folks.

Keep setting people free.

A life of giving is a life worth living.

Be Secretly Incredible

Today has been a regular day.

A day filled with regular schedules and regular activity.

I spent my morning doing all normal LJ activity.

It was gloomy though.

The kind of day that makes you drag a bit.

But still a regular day.

I drove my sweetness, otherwise known as Cody Bell, or to others “Tody”, to work.

We listened to Rick and Bubba, because what else is greater than two country men yappin about this past weekend’s {disappointing} football games?

#welcometoalabama

 I began driving back to work, when suddenly it struck me.

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Today is September 21.

The day my Grandfather went to see Jesus just 4 short years ago.

I swerved across 4 lanes of traffic to reach the exit where the cemetery was.

It has been 4 years since I returned to that place.

A place that only brings memory of sadness and grief, but today was unordinary.

I stood in front of tombstones marked with the names of two I loved most, decorated with perfect fall flowers by my mom (who, mind you, stays fabulous and thoughtful at all times), Ed Welch and his gracious and perfect wife, Jean Sylvest Welch.

I stood with sickness in my belly, hard to believe I had been brave enough to return.

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But then it hit me.

There was no “regular” day to Grandaddy.

There was no day wasted on petty talk and mindless activity.

A man who traveled the world, but managed to love his family well.

A man who harvested the best tomatoes, taught all his grandkids to swim & fish, and replaced any bad word with “mickey mouse”.

A man who loved Christ and served his church with grace and leadership.

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A man who walked in the way of selflessness… and never let his left hand know what his right hand was doing.

He knew who Went Before him.

He followed Him with so much diligence that the smell of Jesus permeated the room when he entered.

He left a legacy that still pursues the lives of those who still have breath in their lungs, businesses are still running the carry his blessed name, and many are still above water because of sacrifices he made.

No day was a regular day for this ordinary man,

every day was an opportunity for success and pursuit of the kingdom.

Shouldn’t that be us?

Everyday a day to smile.

Everyday a day  to rejoice in new mercies.

Everyday a day to tell someone who they really are in Jesus.

Everyday a day to love well.

Everyday a day to say YES to what God has called us to.

Everyday a day to say no to negativity.

Everyday a day to say that positive word that someone needed in that moment.

Everyday a day to do something that makes us uncomfortable to give an ounce of comfort to someone in starvation for it.

Everyday a day to be secretly incredible.

Everyday a day to be more like Jesus.

I looked around that cemetery, in the pouring rain, with gloomy skies and my eyes welled up with tears.  I looked at the hundreds of graves where so many lay, but so many legacies left.

I stood there smiling/laughing through my misty eyes

SO excited. SO enthralled with God’s choice to love us, to give us a better home than this one, to lavish us with grace when a day feels so regular.

There is Joy in Knowing Him.

His kindness unending,

His legacy of timeless grace.