The Dairy Godmother is a cool ‘third place
The most important task in building cooltowns is finding the passionate, visionary people that make it come alive… and Liz of The Dairy Godmother is one such person.
How did Liz and her Alexandria, VA Business of the Year become a community institution in just a year? She instinctively followed the principles of the experience economy, focusing on her customers as unique individuals and her frozen custard shop as one of a kind: She greets her customers by first name, recognizes their birthdays, posts their stories on her home page, fills her jukebox with ‘dreamy’ tunes, hosts fun events, provides Scrabble for the regulars, emphasizes the community bulletin board, and most of all you can tell she loves her job – “I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
ps She had a former 9-5 job (see stuck in a bad relationship) and will never go back.
I am interested in communal dining. The times that I had brat night at the shop I was amazed that the goodwill and excitement came from squeezing next to a stranger who soon became a friend (big ahhaaa moment). The feel was that of a church supper, fry out (as we call in Wisc), spaghetti dinner at the high school, boarding house. The defenses that tell us not to notice strangers where relaxed.
There is a little bit of feeling like being a member of a large family. You eat what mom made and find a place to sit. Mom cooked, she didn’t wait on you. Pass the mustard, please.
I think we long for this.
Neil has mentioned a place in Amelia, FL which he feels exemplifies this type of communal dining. Does anyone know of anything in the WDC area?
I would like to experiment with this this winter as I already have a set up to do so. Any suggestions? Would love some input!