I don’t like tomatoes. When I tell people this, they are highly offended. Same goes for coffee – I’m just not a big fan.
But I do love a coffee shop. But for me, it’s less about the coffee, and more about the vibe it projects.
In college, I oftentimes would study in a coffee shop instead of spending my time in the sterile atmosphere the school library provided.
Apparently, I am not alone. Many people love coffee shops. It has become what Ray Oldenburg, an American urban sociologist, calls a “third place”. If your first place is home, and your second place is work, than a third place is a neutral public space for a community to connect and establish bonds. It’s a place where you choose to spend your time.
When I think of coffee shops, I also think of folk music. After all, many singer-songwriters have cut their teeth in the comfort of a coffee shop. Back in the 1960s, two unknown performers got their musical start in a coffee shop. Their names were Bob Dylan and Joan Baez – maybe you have heard of them?
So when I saw that a coffee shop in Gaston County was hosting live music on a regular basis, I had to check it out.
Todd Williams is the owner and operator of WiredCoffeeEspress.com. It’s not a virtual coffee shop by any means – it’s the real deal, offering an assortment of coffee-related drinks, as well as gelato (italian ice cream) and muffins and pastries.
Williams, the former sound engineer turned barista, opened up WiredCoffeeEspress.com back in 2008 as a way to channel his new passion – coffee.
Williams spent over twenty years on the road running sound for many bands throughout the United States and Canada. Burned out on the constant travel that the music business requires, he decided to settle down and stay in one place for a change.
For twenty years, it was his job to make the music sound as good as it could. Now he had a new challenge – making coffee taste as good as it could.
Though Williams has a passion for serving high quality coffee, he also still has a passion for music. In fact, he has hosted live music at his establishment off and on over the past five years. However, in the last few months, he’s been making a concerted effort to host live music on a consistent basis.
Now Williams gets to dabble in both passions – offering quality coffee and music. When passion and talent intersect, that’s where the magic happens.
But Williams will tell you, he’s always evolving and thinking. He’s always looking to make things just a little bit better.
But they seem just fine to me, right here on the corner of Wired Coffee Way and Live Music Lane.
New York-based singer-songwriters Julia Haltigan & Freddie Stevenson will perform at WiredCofeeEspress.com on Monday, Oct. 15 at 8:00 p.m. More details are available online at www.wiredcoffeeespress.com.
by Ben Dungan – bdungan at charter dot net