A Guide Through a Happy Life
What’s organic, and what’s fair trade sacrifices nothing for premium grade. Delicious flavors to sip and savor, if you’re listening, do yourself a favor… Will you enjoy happiness as a brand? Will you take that cup of belief in the palm of your hand? Let me do you a solid and clear some mystery to clue you in on this place’s history.
People: Mel, Vishal, and Onyeka. Places: U.S., India, Tanzania. The origins started with different places, three lovely people with three lovely faces. They fought the good fight in their own way, and strove with vigilance every day.
Let’s start with the Indian on a journey and quest, Vishal Patel’s continuous test. He landed shrouded by mosquitoes and unease, thoughts of malaria, worries of disease. The air was somehow musty yet dry, a smell specific to the Tanzanian sky. Confusing switches in that strange new bathroom, a foreigner in solitude felt potential doom. That worry was blasted away after 4 hours of sleep to the next dawning day. His tired body engulfed new beauty, all the signs were in Swahili. Mt. Kilamanjaro loomed overhead, fresh streams trickled riverbeds. Babba Massayo brought him chips mahai, which, by the way, is an omelet with french fries. Kids played in the streets with waterfalls falling, he found this place, he found his calling. Personal space was something of a joke, the children would come up to him to prod and poke. School was also considered something rather funny, the land was what mattered, and coffee made money. What should kids care of education when there was so much opportunity for recreation? Vishal wanted to help but didn’t yet know how, more on this later, someone else now…
A Nigerian man of great renown is clever like a fox, but funny like a clown. Talk about a worker and a capitalist, an overall awesome adventurist. He strives, he drives, he thrives and he thrives. It’s a cycle on repeat, combating loss, trudging through defeat, controlling chaos. His name is Ony, but that’s Mr. Ony to you. He’s full of wisdom and his words are true. Onyeka Obiocha had just graduated from college, but didn’t know what to do with that pent up knowledge. He hitch hiked around just for the hell of it, he spent months reading locked up like a hermit. Then he reemerged, he joined a company where he grew and he surged. But the company was corrupt and full of lies, he hated his work despite his effort and tries. He tried something where he’d find stars like him rising, reSET was a group for social enterprising. He joined an Indian on a quest, little did he know, he’d be part of a test. Their teamwork unsurprisingly rocks, and was solidified by some ceremonial socks.
Coffee is a competitive business, low end and high end alike, and if they’d attempt to win this… they’d have to do everything right. A pairing created, the fellowship began, it seemed they were fated, skipped walking then ran. A farmer’s market here, a farmer’s market there… a sense of slight fear just tinged in the air. But a happy life grew as the beans were blended and roasted, artists in New Haven used their art as they posted on limited edition bags which they boasted. With the money they collected they leased a spot, a place that was once known as the brew shop. The very spot which introduced me to New Haven, the gateway through boardgames, such a great place in… The place I met Mr. Matt Fantastic, but more later on him with feelings ecstatic.
It was almost 2015, their first spot had failed… but they didn’t give up, they didn’t bail! They made a kickstarter to construct a new space, and I’m currently writing in that place. I met them when I read a poem to a crowd for the first time, my fly was unzipped for every rhyme! The Happiness Lab at the Grove wasn’t an instant success, their efforts started with a crafty test. They had to do the flooring and tiling themselves, they got special tables and honeycomb shelves. On the 13th of March they announced their presence, and I became their regular poet in residence. I laser engraved poems for their art, they were hard to read, but hey, it’s a start.
A student joined the crew as their first barista, her cappuccino’s are always a fiesta. Ony didn’t need her resume because he could tell, this lady was solid, that lady was Mel.
They hosted parties to get their name out there where D.J. Rubin mixed tracks with care. He stuck out his tongue bopping to the beat, he rocked my socks off my dancing feet. There’s yoga, meditation, and literary happy hour. A-100 study halls with educational power. So much has happened in a year, we had fun and brought our own beer!
On over thirty Thursdays I played my harp, and even though I’m a beginner, they enjoyed my start. It was a meditative music to all ears, and it could alleviate tensions, alleviate fears. But, sometimes, happiness is avoiding badness, and only when removing sadness can you sustain gladness. I won’t get into the detail, but harassment entailed. Police were called, some feelings were soiled. In a moment of valor, an owner stepped in, and with no splendor, he dealt with the grim.
Their coffee is excellent, wonderful, decadent, from the types of farmers Vishal once met. The bitter berries he once tried, those berries were dried. Others were planted, seeds were sown, they were harvested, seeds were grown. And with a fair price for their work, education’s attainable, with our happy sips, they’re becoming sustainable.
I see this as often a meeting place for start ups, and just recently: Elm City Games popped up. The very gamers who showed me New Haven, are now here and happily playing. The joy happens every day, I get to sit here, drink, write, and play.
This place is a dream, but no one person’s vision, and here you can work your dreams to fruition.
This place taps work, the satisfaction of strife. A happy existence, a happy life.