Earlier this week, I was having a moment of reflection. It is now about a month since Crowned Worthy was officially published. I thought specifically about who I should thank. I did some generic 'thank you' activity on my social media and specifically thanked my publisher.
But, another thing that came to mind was a bit random. It was a local coffee shop, Gatehouse Coffee in York. Before lockdown, I would often spend time writing in coffeehouses to help get some time away from home in a different environment and of course, to eat the cake! Living in York, I have visited many coffee shops to do this but Gatehouse has always been my go to. With the comfortable seating, cheerful smiles and great range of cakes, food and drinks, it has been the perfect setting to help a lot of Ajay's journey (protagonist in Crowned Worthy) come to life. For that, I am really grateful. After thanking them through their Facebook page, another thought occurred to me.
Local, independent businesses, or even parts of larger chains, make a big difference to people's lives.
I work for The Alternative Board (UK), a network of business professionals who help empower business owners of SMEs to improve their businesses and their personal lives. Through the community at TAB, I know that the lives of business owners can be lonely, taxing and seriously hard work. Yet they have all created businesses that have a direct impact on the lives of their customers. My parents always talk about the local place they go to on their bike rides for a bacon cob (sorry, Midlands lingo here!) or it might be your vet, or local garage, or online snack provider or estate agents or whatever. The point is businesses, their owners and staff, especially those local, make a huge difference to every one of our lives. Whether it's for a creative process like myself or for meeting an everyday need. It struck me that we probably don't appreciate them enough. So maybe next time you're in their shop or have the opportunity, say thank you :)
Also, if you’re ever in York, nip to Gatehouse - they have excellent cake. It really made a difference.