The Story of Sonny’s Donuts & Coffee
Sonny is the family member we never knew we needed. He is an empathetic and spunky soul who has never met a stranger and has brought our family together in ways we never imagined. When you first encounter Sonny, you instantly feel like the most important person in his world. He runs to greet you with a big “smile” and an epic wiggle butt that only a bulldog can deliver, sparking more joy than a tidy closet organized by Marie Kondo.
Sonny (short for Santino) looks more like a cow than a dog. He snores louder than a tractor and he snorts like a pig when he plays. When he sits, he looks like a frog and he blows kisses from his derriere that will clear a room; but in our eyes, he’s perfect in every way. He has a special and unique connection with each member of our family of six and loves each one of us for who we uniquely are. He not only provides companionship that only a dog can give, but also taught us lessons about responsibility, empathy, affection, acceptance, and the power of connection.
One of our favorite times with Sonny is in the early mornings. As you can imagine with a family of six, our lives are pretty hectic from sun up to sun down, so we tend to rise before the sun does to get our time together before the chaos of the day takes over. At our house, the first one up makes two cups of coffee and brings it to the other. As silly as it may sound, this has become a very meaningful custom for us because of what it represents. For me, it’s a gentle reminder that no matter how hectic or stressful things get, we still need to make time to take care of each other. Sonny rises with us and will position himself right between us, making sure to stretch out so he can touch us both while we enjoy our coffee and talk. I find these moments cathartic because it is time I can dedicate to focusing my energy and attention on the things I believe are most important. It centers and balances me, enabling to be at my best throughout the day.
During COVID, the world required us to slow down and quarantine allowed us to genuinely connect with one another. While the circumstances were less than desirable, the experience allowed us to take a much-needed break from the demanding schedules filled with work, school, kids extracurricular activities, and everything else we did. During that time, we introduced to our kids the simple pleasures of connecting over things that we did with our parents as children like teaching them card games, doing puzzles, gardening, and cooking together. One of my favorite outcomes was discovering my daughter’s passion for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. She got involved in 4-H during this time and as we completed her food and nutrition activities in the kitchen, she displayed such enthusiasm and excitement when she created delightful culinary creations from scratch. Her favorite project was making donuts. Every time we put on our aprons to experiment with a new donut recipe, Sonny would go to his “spot” by the stove and sit down intently watching us in that trademark bulldog side sit where he is slouched over, looking like a frog. We all knew he was secretly waiting to sample the tidbits that would fall to the ground, but we loved having his presence with us in the kitchen.
One morning during one of our dawn coffee chats, I shared a childhood story about the time my mom took us to the donut shop on the town square. My siblings and I sat down at the counter and picked the donut we wanted from the morning’s fresh batch. My mom ordered a cup of coffee and we sat there and ate our donuts while talking to people we didn’t know who were sitting at the donut counter. We talked about what we were going to do over the summer and sometimes we’d chime in on our thoughts about the weather, what was going on in the news, and even our thoughts on predictions for the upcoming football season. The conversations we had were inclusive of every person inside that donut shop. I remember being fascinated as I watched people who were complete strangers with nothing in common, walk through the door, instantly transform, and engage in conversation with one another as if they were old friends. It truly was a special place. As Sonny snuggled between us and rolled onto his back, belly exposed, legs extended out and lips flopped up around his eyes; I shared how impactful it was for me seeing people come together like that at such a young age. There are few places like that exist today and frankly, I think we need more of them in the world.
That conversation planted the seed for Sonny’s Donuts and ignited our commitment to creating everyday moments for all people to slow down and connect. We couldn’t think of a better way to embody that feeling of connection, appreciation of one another, and acceptance than doing so over a cup of craft coffee or a fresh handmade donut created in a kitchen with love. Of course, we thought there was no better way to represent this experience and principles than our one and only Sonny who has yet to meet a stranger.
Our lives are made up of a collection of experiences and we want to be intentional about bringing you experiences where you can preserve those everyday moments, slow down, and connect with each other. Behind the names of each of our craft coffees is a story that embodies these principles. We invite you to check out our latest collection of experiences and encourage you to take a moment (or two) and connect with your fur baby/babies, your loved one(s), or someone new and enjoy life one cup at a time.
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