This morning I got to help do some free labor for the folk at in.gredients, who are nonchalantly soliciting labor requests about once a week now. Similar to Huck Finn, they persuade us to come do free manual labor with the promise of fresh brewed coffee and sweat.
That, and a chance to talk with the owners of in.gredients, was enough to get me there this Saturday morning. Not so say I haven’t wanted to go the past few times they’ve requested–I’ve been busy–but this time I was deadset on going.
I biked there, early, because the work was scheduled to begin at eight sharp. I was the first person there, which afforded me the luxury of having a one-on-one conversation with Jospeh, one of the two partners who brain-birthed in.gredients.
Other volunteers started showing up, and the taskmasters put us to work staining an old wooden (battleship) playground, on which kids could play. Staining the play area, and painting a pole, were the only two tasks that the group had set for us to do today, which was ridiculous, because they said in the email we’d be I from eight till one. We finished around nine-thirty, which was fine with me, and then everyone talked with each other. Apparently, the most accurate time estimates have in.gredients opening in December, because they have had some bureaucratic blunders in regards to licenses, demolition, and health regulations. The staff claimed it was the city’s fault, which is most likely at least partially true, but at the same time, the in.gredients entrepeneurs are doing something that has never been done before, and so I imagine it’s hard for the city to create new precedents for all the odd specifics that a store like in.gredients brings.
I have to admit: there is a lot of work to be done on the interior of the place if it’s to be open in a little more than a month.
But once they can finally bring in construction crews and professional labor, then the physical changes will start occurring, and people will begin to take this place seriously. The building is small–really small–and they have thus decided to incorporate a lot of the plot of land into their usage. There will be a patio, picnic tables, garden, and stage for occasional music. In addition to produce and food, in.gredients will also sell beer and wine on tap, fresh brewed coffee, and local restaurant fare–pre-made and ready to eat. If I did get hired there, I would have to work as a barista or waiter in addition to a cashier, something I didn’t expect. In fact, I’d wager there will only be one or two cashiers for grocery, because the folks at in.gredients are certainly emphasizing the hip, coffee-bar nature of the place more than I had imagined.