My day job is being mom to two great kids, founder of the Madison West Writers Group and the owner of Common Ground, a business that’s one part café/restaurant and one part community center and will be launching soon.
I created the Madison West Writers Group as a place where people could explore the fun and social side of writing. I wanted to make the experience friendly and accessible and people can choose to share their writing and invite others to critique it or not—it’s up to them. The group has attracted an amazing cross-section of people who share a love of writing and are looking for a place where they can connect with others who feel the same. We currently have nearly 1,000 members and it’s been exciting to watch this blossom into a networking and creative opportunity for so many people.
Common Ground is my new adventure and was born out of my desire to create a family-friendly place where all ages are welcome. We’ll have space available for community groups and events, and sponsor art tutorials, writers group meetings, yoga classes, workshops and more. We’ll also have a fun variety of classes and events for children.
Common Ground will offer “Me Time,” drop-in, short-term childcare designed to give parents or other caretakers a break while they take one of our classes or get some work done or enjoy down time in our café. We already have a number of collaborators on board who bring talents in everything from art to wellness education. Stay tuned!
My most memorable caffeine was the cups of diner coffee my husband and I enjoyed as we road-tripped across the U.S. before the kids were born. We’d sleep in cheap motels and find the dive-iest local diner for breakfast. It was awesome!
My current caffeine of choice is an iced mocha and I drink them all year long, not just in the summer. I used to drink hot mochas, but since I was pregnant with my first child I’ve just found myself preferring cold instead.
My favorite place for caffeine is Prairie Café and Bakery when I want to get work done—it’s near my house and has nice tables and booths for spreading out. If I’m with my kids I gravitate to someplace with a play area, where you don’t feel like you’re disturbing the other customers. Three that I especially like are Tuvalu Coffeehouse & Gallery in Verona, Yola’s Café in Madison—which has even gotten press for its play area!—and the Firefly Coffee House in Oregon. We don’t have anything like that in Middleton, where I live, and Common Ground will be my way of providing it.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is anybody who’s looking for community. Most people want someone to connect and empathize with. Opening Common Ground is my dream job. I get to handle marketing, plan events and meet lots of new people. What could be better?
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: bridging the gaps between people’s differences and finding commonality and connection.