My friend, Rebecca Schiel, pointed me to a place I should have known existed from the start. I mean, I live in Chicago. I should know these things.
But she pointed me to a tweet by Barack Obama, the most amazing president we ever had, calling out champions in the city. Here it is:
Leaders like Jonny Boucher, a Chicago native who, after losing too many friends and family to suicide, started a coffee shop to offer emotional support and guidance to those who might be in need of a little more than a strong cup of coffee to get through their day. pic.twitter.com/H6XPceR6d9
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 29, 2018
Bekkie then convinced me to visit this awesome coffee shop. It’s amazing. You walk in and are immediately greeted with warm welcomes and a comforting sense of understanding.
The baristas go beyond asking what you want and talk to you about struggles, happiness, and just how life is playing out. Inside, you are greeted with positive messages and the theme of It’s OK to Not be OK. I absolutely love it.
When ordering a coffee, the baristas make sure you get exactly what you want. If you are lactose intolerant, they make sure to use an alternative milk for you. In my case, I avoided sugar and they made sure to use a sweetener without any sugar base.
I ordered the Nectar of the Gods. I’m not quite sure what it is, but it was extremely tasty. I ordered a second one as well it was that good.
The entire place just envelopes you in a calm, warm, welcoming feeling. There is a bench that stretches across the back wall with multiple tables strewn about. And, of course, you can cozy up to the bar and watch the baristas at work or join in a conversation.
Outlets are plentiful for computers and mobile devices. There are three bathrooms, all genderless, with murals of whimsy and plays to nostalgia. I felt like a teenager again.
I have to say that I feel a bit guilty for not knowing this place was in my backyard. It’s such an amazing concept: 100% of proceeds goes towards suicide prevention and mental health education.
And President Obama featured them. We need more positive places like Sip of Hope. You go there for a cup of coffee, but really enter into a community driving for mental health awareness and understanding.
It felt like my second home. Thank you Bekkie and Obama.
Here’s more information about Sip of Hope:
Sip of Hope Coffee Bar
3039 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647