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3900 Costa Ave.    Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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Meet John | Dumpster Diver to Friend.

When we first started doing demo on the building, we were filling dumpsters FAST. I had a 30 yard dumpster delivered the day I closed on the building, because if you remember (which you probably don't, but if you want to know the details, go back to my first blog post), I had a goal of ripping out ALL of the carpet the very first day. While we did crush that goal by the end of the day, it turns out the carpet basically FILLED the whole dumpster and we had barely made a dent in the demo we planned to do.

I was on a strict-tight-impossible budget and was not expecting to have to rent a dumpster like a billion times over, but because of all the junk we were pulling out the building, I had to fork over a lot of cash renting dumpster after dumpster. So needless to say, we were PACKING A LOT OF S***T (excuse my language, but it's the truth) in the dumpster to make the most use of it. We definitely paid very little attention to the warning on the side of the dumpster that said "do not fill above this line".... sorry again dumpster rental company. Almost every week that thing was overflowinggggg and we were climbing on top trying to pack more in.

Sometimes you just don't really know what you are doing, so you figure it out along the way and that is OKAY.

It was soon after we had our first mountain of a dumpster, that we met John. I am not going to lie, we literally referred to him as Dumpster John for awhile.... while I know that nickname is a bit insensitive and completely distasteful, we didn't mean it maliciously, I swear. ***PSA, John if you are reading this, WE LOVE YOU LOTS and are so thankful that you showed up at our building randomly.*** But when we first met John, he was going through our dumpster looking for scrap metal to sell and that is why we lovingly referred to him as Dumpster John. It was only his nickname for like a week, people, settle down. Let's move on.

Little did we know that John would become "part of the family" in just a short time.

For a few Saturdays in a row, John would pop over to check on our progress and see if we had any scrap metal in the dumpster. With every interaction, we started having longer conversations and learning things like how he had lost his leg, where he lived, what he used to do before he started his scrap metal side hustle, and so on and so on. We even started setting metal aside in the building and calling him to let him know when he could pick it up. He brought us the best dang canned pickles I have ever had and he let us borrow extra lamps when our electric was being updated. John helped with random projects and almost always had the tool at his house that we were in dire need of. John lived just a few minutes away from the store and he always just a phone call away when we needed him.

Over the next few months as we scrambled to get the store ready to open, Dumpster John quickly became our Good Friend John. He and my dad would often chat on the phone about a problem we had run into at the building or he would randomly stop in just to say hi and see how we were doing.

John even connected us with one of his friends, who helped with our brick work while we were putting in the wheelchair ramp. And when I say brick work, I mean that we had to have engineered drawings and contractors approval to knock out an entire load bearing cinder block wall, in order to open it up to have a wheelchair ramp built, connecting the upper and lower levels. I am not sure if you have ever knocked out a cinder block wall yourself (and if you have, props to you), but at one point my dad and I thought we could do that project ourselves and we were dead wrong. DEAD WRONG.

The wheelchair ramp was a semi-unexpected project and an extremely costly one. John's brick laying friend was INVALUABLE and I am not sure we would be open right now if we hadn't met John and therefore his friend. Honest to goodness, without the wheelchair ramp we would not have passed inspections and I am pretty sure the township would have not granted us occupancy. So actually I can say without a doubt, if it was not for John, we would not be open right now.

You never know when the people you meet are destined to become a good friend, and sometimes they become friends you didn't realize you needed.

The Lord blessed us with John and his friendship, and we love that he decided to dumpster dive at our building. We will forever be indebted to him; for his acts of generosity and the kindness he showed us and the people he introduced us to. No joke, just last week he dropped off 3 giant boxes of brown bags for us to use for the store. YA'LL, JOHN IS THE REAL DEAL.

I just wanted you all to "meet" my good friend John. Here is picture of us from opening day!