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We live in an age where we follow letters behind an @ sign. We live in an age where we become stans of symbols for brands, accounts for products and institutions for movements. Yet, there’s a lot to love and loathe about an epoch that has the force to publicly connect us to something we’ve never experienced if only for an app and a handle.
If it wasn’t for Instagram I wouldn’t have followed a quaint specialty coffee shop in the country of Ecuador, in a city called Guayaquil, in a neighborhood named Samborondon.
If it wasn’t for Instagram, I wouldn’t on the day of one of our best family friends’ wedding, mapped us to this place with fauna wallpaper, pink neon lights, a svelte green couch and framed images on its walls that pay homage to the farmers who picked the coffee I’d soon drink.
The right thing to do I suppose, would be: be seated, wait for table service and then order from the menu. Not I; I didn’t want to sit. I wanted a look around, after-all, I’d been dating this handle for almost three years.
I wanted to trace the lines of its core with my eyes, I wanted to hear the music that was coming from speakers I couldn’t see, I wanted to take a peak at the espresso machine, the power behind all the tiffany blue ceramic cups being lifted to mouth after mouth by a full house of people. the house was so full, that my wait was nothing in comparison to arriving here after three years of hoping to meet it face to face.
This is Andrea, the owner. Can I tell you how pleasant of a surprise it was when I returned back to our front of house table and learned that she is the boss babe of Sailor. She’s operating two locations, providing sustainable wages for all her staff based off of a tax earmarked on receipts of all orders, take-away items are fully compostable, and the food program is a mix of local natives’ by cultural trends.
This is us, twinning in black coincidentally, after my third day of alternately eating at both Sailors. not only did it feel good to see this place thriving but doing so with coffee from its own country.
Now more than just letters behind an @ symbol, this is a real place and I’m so glad Instagram introduced us.