The Past and the Future of the Guild and Blockhouse with Aimee and Emily
Aimee and Emily kick off season 2 with something they’ve never done before– interview each other! Together, they cover what brought each of them to create the Guild and Blockhouse Coffee, how 2020 changed everything, and what they’re most looking forward to in the future.
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In this episode, Aimee and Emily cover:
Creating big dreams in small spaces
Building places where they want to go
Overcoming grief through community and family
Coping with taking steps forward and steps backward
Making their dream into a reality
Emily: The Guild started as a much larger vision on acres of land, but building it in a 1,000 square foot space was what really set it up for success. With a few key players on board, Emily was able to transform an abstract idea of a space into a full-fledged workshop area, where food and art could come together and produce a place where creativity and collaboration reigned supreme.
“The guild is my beautiful little white box that I get to fill however I choose.”
Aimee: Blockhouse Coffee combined Aimee and her husband’s history of hospitality and restaurant work with a desire to create space that didn’t yet exist in their part of Texas. Longing for a cafe that felt like a home away from home, what started as only an Instagram account became an entire business with multiple coffee vendor locations and a reputation for being family-friendly and community-driven.
“This place I’m looking for was never going to happen unless we did it.”
Coping with Coronavirus
Emily: Having a temporary closing of the Guild’s doors combined with the loss of a close family member meant that 2020 was a year of big changes and massive heartbreaks for Emily. As she tried to manage the things happening around her and stay in-tune with her community, Vintage Hope Boutique provided a saving grace in offering to be a guest seller in the Guild.
“For all of those people out there that are listening who have lost someone during this pandemic, there’s so many layers of just difficulty because of everything else.”
Aimee: Like The Guild, Blockhouse had to temporarily close its doors as well when the pandemic hit, creating conflict and concern with how they were going to handle the time ahead with both locations of the cafe. What proved to be the biggest impact in Blockhouse’s pandemic success was the willingness to adapt to technology and the welcoming approach of small outdoor events that safely reunited neighbors and coffee enthusiasts.
“Those outdoor places have really been our saving grace.”
Faithful for the Future
Emily: With several ideas and dreams up her sleeves, Emily plans to take the future by storm and open herself up to the many opportunities available both for her and for the Guild. Between brainstorming cocktails and cookbook recipes to considering retreats and recreational traveling, there’s so many possibilities on where to move forward and what to do as things return to a safer and more normal state.
“I think we can all say that we’re all dreaming of normalcy.”
Aimee: For Blockhouse, expanding is the key to opening every door in the future. Not just in terms of property, expansion also means incorporating more technology into how Blockhouse runs every day, including more merchandise and private coffee labels, and inviting more members of the community to Blockhouse and its big backyard for events and gatherings that are larger than life.
“Covid has really changed our outlook, we’re definitely looking for ways to expand outside the four walls of our brick and mortar.”
Say hello to our new sponsor for season two, The Development Corporation of Richmond.