January 1, 2018
Reflections on 2017
Now that I’ve been able to take some much needed time off during the holiday season, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the whirlwind that has been the past seven months. The Spot on Main Coffee House opened for business on June third of this year, and we’ve been open nearly every day since then. I quickly realized that Jackson wanted more than coffee and pastries and began serving a limited kitchen menu. I guess you can say that this little place has taken on a life of its own!
Opening The Spot on Main has been really, really, really hard. I opened my own marketing and graphic design business in 2010, but the work with that business is much different. With JSM Creative, I was able to work on my own terms –– no one was knocking on my door at 7 am looking for a cup of coffee. Most days, I’m at The Spot on Main pretty much from the time I wake up until an hour after we close, often sitting at a table getting work done for my other business. It’s a job that never stops, but it’s the one I signed up for. To do things the right way and create a place for the community to enjoy, I’ve learned that you can’t commit halfway.
I committed to this back in December of last year, and there was no guarantee that it would be successful. It has taken my full effort, sacrifices from my family, hard work from my employees, and most importantly, your business. Your business is what keeps me going. Every time I get overwhelmed or worried about this whole experience, I am time and time again motivated and inspired by those of you choosing to spend your valuable time and hard-earned money at The Spot on Main.
When I think back to the reason I wanted to create this business in the first place, I can confidently say that I’m thrilled with the progress. Jackson is in a town where, in my opinion, there’s an opportunity to make things happen, especially right now. Growing up in Jackson and moving back to start a family, I think it’s really easy to take all that we have for granted. We’ve got a really unique and supportive community, and it’s unbelievable how many people I meet every day who think that we live in coolest town out there. The Spot on Main has had visitors from across the country (and world!) just happen stop in for lunch or a cup of coffee because they just took the exit off the highway. The world is more connected to Jackson than many people might think, and I think it’s our responsibility as a community to welcome visitors and represent ourselves in the best light.
My hope is that my little coffee shop encourages those of you with dreams of opening your own small business in Jackson to start making your move –– or as my sons would say, “shooting your shot.” If you have the right idea, the right people, and are prepared to make the sacrifice, you will find an incredible network of people in Jackson who are willing to support you and your business.
I sincerely appreciate all the folks who have been critical to our success thus far, and I sincerely appreciate your continued support of The Spot on Main. Thank you making us a small part of your life and allowing us to be part of the fabric of this community. Here’s to a good start, great coffee, and a new year!
March 24, 2017
And so it begins…
I’d like to officially announce The Spot on Main, a new coffee house and gathering place in downtown Jackson, Ohio. We have aggressive plans to open the end of May! My family took possession of the historic building (formerly occupied for many years by The Fashion, and most recently, Apple Tax Services) in early January and are in the process of making the necessary renovations.
I started dreaming of owning a place like this in the late 90’s when as a young family we lived in Lancaster, Ohio and frequented The Four Reasons. It’s the kind of place you can pop in for a quick cup of coffee, gather for lunch with friends, or spend a lazy weekend morning. The espresso drinks were always great and they had an amazing selection of cookies which my boys loved to choose from. It always felt like home – I loved that feeling!
When we moved home to Jackson sixteen years ago (when I left in 1986, I said I’d never do that – but that’s another story), the thought of a coffee house crossed my mind. Jackson didn’t have a coffee house, but could it support one, could I really do this? With no money in savings and three young boys at home, it was really just a dream.
Fast forward to 2016 – two boys in college and one starting high school. Things changed, I changed. Honestly, feeling as if there was “nothing” here, I was ready to leave Jackson. My marketing/design business was booming – but I could work from anywhere.
My middle son, Cole, was invited in May of that year to speak at a fundraiser for the iBelieve Foundation. iBelieve sponsored him to attend the Ohio Association of Student Councils summer leadership workshops for several years in high school and he later staffed those same workshops. As a freshman at Syracuse University, Cole was invited to be a panelist and share his experiences with potential donors. This was pretty exciting, and we all went to support him. Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award that night was Dr. James Mahoney, Executive Director, Batelle for Kids. Dr. Mahoney spoke for a bit after receiving his award. I don’t remember everything he said, but I do remember this powerful quote – “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.”
That quote was new to me and it really hit home! I thought about it quietly the rest of the weekend. I had been spending the past decade wishing for something more, something different, somewhere different – but what had I done to “water the grass,” so to speak?
A local coffee house might seem like a small thing to most people, but walk down the street in Jackson, Ohio and you’ll realize this is big for a lot of people. Everytime I receive a “thumbs up” or huge smile when I share what I am doing, it makes all the “water bills” and “weeds” worthwhile.