Renovation Time

These photos jumped out at me when I was looking for something else yesterday. I took them three years ago, early March 2020. I had volunteered to help friends who were remodeling a business space in Kandern, Germany, turning it into a coffee shop.

As always with renovations, there are surprises, things that put you over budget. Especially with older buildings. Using volunteer labor for simple tasks like painting and cleaning makes sense.

Timing is everything, and in this case the timing wasn’t great. The existing coffee shop’s lease had expired and the new place wasn’t yet ready, so it had to shut down for a few weeks. By the time the renovations were done, the COVID-19 pandemic had hit. Opening a coffee shop was not an option.

Smalltown Germany doesn’t have the same takeout culture that we North Americans are used to. Coffee-to-go isn’t as popular as it is here. In Germany people like to linger over coffee and cake. Once the initial restrictions eased, the place never really did get back on track.

I don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body. I have friends who own businesses, and some of them seem to thrive on the pressure. I’d be a basket case, worrying about all the things that could go wrong. And there are so many things that can go wrong.

I am glad though that there are some people who are willing to take the risk, to try something new. Our world would be a much duller place without them.


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