I come from a family of merchants. Growing up, I would hear stories about my grandparents’ Benjamin Franklin Five and Dime store and how the holidays were the hardest on my grandfather. He sold toys and paper products and candy bars to the locals. Day in. Day Out. For years. It shaped my mother, who later shaped me with her own brand of entrepreneurialism. She sold houses and land and dreams to the locals in our hometown.
So whenever I come across someone with that entrepreneurial spirit, I am fascinated by their passion. It is the honest ones, the generous ones, who touch my heart the most.
The other day I met such a person who owns a small café in the center of Freiburg. Open only Mondays through Fridays, his restaurant feeds the hungry lunchtime crowd that surrounds his building. When I asked him if he’s open for dinner, he replied: “I love what I do, but I love other things too. Noon to three is enough to serve those who are looking for a good home-cooked meal. The rest of the time I enjoy my life.” And so he does.
I witnessed how he greeted small neighborhood children and elderly couples. I saw how they came not only for his good cooking, but for his good heart too. He threw a party for the ZMF Freiburg crew. World-class musicians played the drums while we danced and ate and experienced a moment of profound togetherness.
Couples have found each other in his four walls. He even catered one of the weddings from two people who had met at his café.
The spirit of generosity seeps into the food, which keeps people coming back. And he is able to give so much of himself because he gives to himself – in true Power of Slow fashion.