Marry Durham celebrates its second anniversary tomorrow, and since the inaugural vows have been made, we’ve been blessed with many new businesses that make their home in our great town of Durham; Loaf, Reliable Cheese and Daisy Cakes to name a few. Now as Durhamites take their vows tomorrow, either again or for the first time, let us celebrate and support another business addition to our community. Cocoa Cinnamon’s commitment to civic engagement, dedication to place, family and planet (Just like Marry Durham), are planning to open a beautiful shop where specialty coffee, tea and chocolate are the name of the game, but need your help to make it a firm reality.
P.S Headed to the Durham Farmer’s Market tomorrow? Find BikeCOFFEE, drop some bucks in the donation jar, grab a Monuts Donuts and know all proceeds go to the Cocoa Cinnamon Kickstarter….That is what I call INCENTIVE!!! Have you had Monuts? Unbelievable……that is all!!
I asked owners Leon and Areli to put into words what it was that got them to this point. Please enjoy the poignant sincerity, dedication and commitment these two bring to each other and plan to bring to us in downtown Durham.
Thank you for sharing Leon and Areli, you deserve the best!
In Leon’s words:
As part of the Marry Durham celebration I wanted to share the story of how Areli and I came together and started creating Cocoa Cinnamon.
The Marriage of Cocoa Cinnamon! A special release in celebration of Marry Durham.
1 Year, 11 months and 3 days ago, Areli and I fell in love. We had known each other for 6 years, yet it came completely out of nowhere. I believe one day in either direction, if it hadn’t happened at just that moment, in just the way it did, we would not now be married and in love.
Two simple text messages opened up a world of love and a dedicated marriage and partnership. For that I remain amazed every day and forever grateful.
After expressing feelings that came up in me because of a simple question from a friend, “Is there anyone down there that you want to see?” I stopped for 10 or so seconds on the phone, and then said, “I have never even thought this to myself…I don’t know what I’m going to say,” I started talking about Areli. Once I said the words, the feelings came up in me and took over.
Days later, I decided to express these feelings, telling her that I didn’t even know how I felt, but that I felt like I could love her. I most certainly surprised her, as much as I was still shocked by the realization of the feelings myself.
A path, complex, yet amazingly simple, began. We had no intention to get married 4 days short of two months later, but that is exactly what we did. In a way, it happened to us. Friends said that there was something greater happening and that we felt magical together. We felt it too and over the next weeks, even with a tumultuous world around us, we felt like we were on a boat floating serenely down a river towards each other. Each moment, story and action led us closer together.
Since then, we have seen things that have confirmed again and again little signs that there is something that we don’t understand that makes us so in love.
Here’s one little example I found out well after we were married:
I made an artwork called The Umbrella.
Areli has images of umbrellas through her journals.
Both are significant to each of us in ways that when we saw the connection, felt uncanny.
Characters in a story I had been working on for years overlapped directly with ideas explored in Areli’s journals, almost sounding as if I had written them, or she had conceptualized mine. These connections are evidence of what led us to each other and keep leading us back as we live and create our lives together.
These are just a couple of coincidences. Maybe it is just a way of seeing, informed by the amazement and connection, that is love. I don’t know, but for whatever reason the signs show up again and again.
I am so not someone who normally believes in the idea of “meant to be.” Yet I am sure that there is something that I don’t understand, some kind of life poetry that has brought us together and feeds our love.
There is a lot more detail and complexity to our amazing story that I feel in my heart just as much as I did with Areli’s first reciprocation. Maybe one day that will be a little book, I think we’ll call Ti Amo. Maybe.
For now, we want to share some of the love that we channel into Cocoa Cinnamon! As we start up our shop, we are letting life lead us together. That feeling has done us well so far, and we feel the need to keep following it.
Be happy in love – of one another, of this earth, of yourself and of this great Bull City, Durham. We hope we can add a little something special to it. We so appreciate everything you have contributed to our dream and are grateful for continuing to pass it on.
If you like this and can, please share the link to our kickstarter page. Be sure to check out the sipping chocolate in the video. You can be a part of our project for as little as $1. Every contribution means a lot to us.
Here’s the link:
Leon and Areli Barrera de Grodski
Cocoa Cinnamon & bikeCOFFEE
Merry Marry Durham!