Small Business Feature:
Not too long ago, we issued a call for our community to nominate their favorite local businesses to receive free updated exterior images of their shops. One of our social media followers nominated Drip Café, and we’re so happy they did!
Exterior commercial photo of Drip Cafe, in Newark taken by Josh Wheeler
What comes to mind when you think of your local coffee shop? For me, it’s the ambiance, the fire burning in a cozy fireplace, the feeling of productivity, the low hum of business meetings, and the coffee — the endless coffee.
However, as I write this post, I am listening to a Holiday Coffeehouse playlist from the comfort of my couch. My two dogs are snoring on the living room rug and my kids are working on virtual school. My coffee is still endless, but it’s just not the same.
While some of our local coffee shops are still open for limited in-person dining, the pandemic has made it difficult to offer the same experience we all love. I miss the days of getting together with inspiring people to discuss our latest volunteer or business project. I really miss being able to escape from my household distractions to relax in a cozy booth with my laptop and favorite drink. Nevertheless, here I am — with my coffee, my TV yule log, my dogs, my kids, and my yet-to-be-decorated Christmas tree.
During my recent conversation with Drip Café owner, Greg Vogeley, we discussed this important role that coffee shops and cafes play in our American history and discourse. We discussed the ups and downs his business has experienced since March. In a year when the casual business meeting at a café became rare instead of ubiquitous, Drip Café focused on reinvention in the face of uncertainty. At the start of 2020, Vogeley ran three locations. Unfortunately, the espresso bar in Wilmington closed permanently on March 16th. But luckily, the coffee is still flowing at both the Hockessin and Newark locations! They’re open for take-out and in-person dining (in a limited capacity per the Governor’s new guidelines as of November 23rd).
All in all, Vogeley is pleased with where his business stands given the circumstances. He’s grateful for the outpouring of support in the Spring when the community responded so positively to donating meals to healthcare professionals. This gave Drip Café. and many other local establishments, an opportunity to keep their doors open while providing comfort to our frontline workers. At a time when some larger chain locations closed quickly, Drip Café has survived due to the support of neighbors and loyal customers.
In May, Drip Café connected with global nonprofit World Central Kitchen and their #ChefsForAmerica program. World Central Kitchen is working across America to alleviate the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic by safely distributing individually packaged, fresh meals in communities that need support. To date, WCK has partnered with restaurants and chefs to provide over 30 million meals in more than 400 cities. From May through July, Drip Café was able to provide over 5,000 meals to Emanuel dining room in Wilmington. It not only was a great opportunity to support those in need, but it also saved Drip Café’s business.
As this year ends, Vogeley notes that small businesses whose doors are still open are thankful to remain in service to the communities we are a part of. “It’s not about how hard it has been — it’s about looking at the challenges we were able to overcome. It’s about being able to come out of this year as a better team and a better company than we were before.”
Next time you’re in downtown Newark or near Lantana Square in Hockessin and you’re in the mood for #BrunchAllDay, check out Drip Café! You can easily order online for pick up. Keep your eye out for monthly features and family style menus to take home to your clan.