The Kindness Quotient: Cultivating Community
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series titled The Kindness Quotient: how we individually create community
By Sarah Mackay
Coffee and kindness seem to go well with together. I visit one of the best coffee shops in West Seattle on a partly cloudy day in honor of Kindess Day. Admiral Bird is a corner café with a delicious vibe of happy customers and staff. At the helm is co-owner, Corina Luckenbach who smiles easily for all who enter. “No Hate” stickers adorn various spaces, greenish blue walls compliment the wood surfaces, along with vibrant plants and big windows for added decor. The well-lit space is brimming with ambiance; it’s the setting for one of the busiest coffee shops in town. My first thought is, “I’m in good company”.
I meet Corinna, we shake hands, and settle into discussing kindness next to fragrant arrangements separating the coffee shop from the floral business in the back.
Not one to shy away from the question at hand, I catch one staff member, Erinn zipping by with a bus tub. “What’s it like working for Corinna?” I ask. Erinn enthusiastically replies, “Corina is my last boss ever, I would follow her anywhere.” I look over at Corinna who smiles, slightly bends her head as if to say “thank you”.
I navigate back to the point of my interview in honor of kindness Day. How important is kindness as a business owner?
Corina reflects on my question watching the traffic flow by, “It’s cultivated, something I work on daily”, she says. I start to suggest kindness is something you’re born with. She gently assures me she seeks kindness for herself and her business, “so I choose to be kind to all I meet. I’ve encountered so many kind people in my life, I’ve always chosen to give what I receive.”
I can’t help but think that kindness is innate. Corina inspires all whom she meets to choose kindness just by being herself, she seems to beckon kindness as the sun beckons a flower, kindness is acquired like cultivating a taste for really good coffee.
What kind of expansion is in store for the Admiral Bird ? She also has a fascination with creating magical, celebratory events. It all began with New Year’s Eve parties for children. Stuffed animals and balloons fill the coffee shop just before midnight (East Coast time) along with hot chocolate, treats galore and the fantastical and magical space Corina created for kids to celebrate. Her ten year-old son is the inspiration for the kid’s New Year’s Eve party where children get their equal opportunity of enjoying the beginning of a New Year. “You know kids want to celebrate too,” she said. Corinna and her business partner now have an event space in Georgetown they rent out for wedding, parties and really any festivity.
So the next time you pop into the Admiral Bird know that beyond the kindness is boundless gratitude for all who live in our community and a smile for all who enter.
Unbenownst to the staff.