Thanks a Latte
In September 1999 one of my best friends (Mónica) and I moved to Somerville. We were fresh out of undergrad and trying to figure out our way in Boston. We were overwhelmed, optimistic, naive, excited, and felt the blessing and curse of new adulthood on our shoulders. We walked into Davis Square from our apartment and slowly started to feel like we’d found our new home. Diesel was a huge part of that.
Mónica flirted with everyone behind the counter. We went far too often so that she could catch the eye of a certain barista. I consumed far more chais with soy milk than my AmeriCorps salary warranted. We watched our roommates meet new people and the first place where the new girlfriend/boyfriend met us for, um, screening purposes, was at Diesel. We watched as the Starbucks went up across the street with the graffiti on the plywood that said, “Starbucks makes Dan sad.” When my boyfriend (now husband) came to visit from NY and I was at work he’d curl up at Diesel and read. I’d get so excited when my punch card was full! (Okay, I still get excited about that.)
As the years went on and we moved away and came back with different people and in different apartments, Diesel was the same even as it expanded and morphed into an updated and even cooler space. At its core it was still the same.
In the early 2000s, my aunt and her wife came to visit me and I remember bringing them into Diesel. They said, “Um, is it Pride and no one told me?” And I said, “Nope, it’s just Saturday.” Multiple times they came back to visit and Diesel was always the priority stop. They visibly relaxed and got re-energized every time they went in.
Around the time Diesel turned 10 I had a new baby. Walking down to Diesel and getting a chai with soy milk (some things never change) became one thing in my life that made me feel normal. I might have been sleep deprived, might be wearing bizarre clothes because everything else had spit up all over it, and may not have showered that morning, but I was able to get a baby and me out of the house and get a treat for my efforts. Thank you Diesel for helping me feel normal again!
I no longer live in Somerville, but when we travel from NY to the Boston area my now 10 year old daughter always has us put Diesel on the Must list. She can’t believe that she was wheeled in via running stroller for me to get tea.
Diesel always makes me feel welcome, makes me feel a little more centered, and always makes me appreciate the now but get nostalgic all at the same time.
When Mónica and I saw your 20th anniversary messages we instantly ran down memory lane. In great part, Diesel helped us grow up. Watching two independent, really cool women open and successfully run Diesel truly made us say, “I want to be like them when I grow up.” (Even though I doubt you were much older than us at the time. It just took us awhile to get ourselves together.)
Mónica and I are currently launching a podcast called The Good Girls Recovery Club. Its goal is to empower women stuck in the ‘good girl’ stereotype to break out of the limits that such stereotypes cast on them. It would be a podcast distributed nationally among all podcast platforms. We are in the preproduction stages at the moment but are looking to involve some of the most popular influencers in the media (artists, authors, youtubers, etc.)
We were wondering if you’d be willing to let us interview you for the podcast? Specifically we were wondering if you’d be willing to talk about the messages women hear when launching a business – especially in 1999 when being a women-owned, pro-LGBTQ business was far from the norm in what was then a community morphing from blue collar to hipster. Perhaps we could record an episode at Diesel and help celebrate the anniversary?
You can check out our website: www.goodgirlsrecoveryclub.com. Again, the show is still being developed so the site is updated frequently.
Again, Happy Anniversary and thank you a latte (I couldn’t resist) for all that you did for us (still do!) to help us grow and for all that you do for the community! So, so happy for you!
Sending you lots of chai love
Editors note: We have accepted Good Girls Recovery Club’s request for an interview and will let you know when it’s live (assuming they think we have anything of interest to say…)