It is with a heavy heart I announce the closing of one of my favorite places on the planet, The Quirky Feather Confectionery in Carmel.
The fact that their doors are officially closed for good isn’t the news here. The business was doing fine. There was no backstabbing or scandal. There is no drama to report.
Something completely out of the control of everyone happened with the water heater and the electrical system and the this and the that. But that’s not why I’m writing this.
I’m here to thank the power sisters behind TQFC, Sabrina Wilson and Heidi Wernicke, for all they did for me, Carmel, and the local minority communities.
Come One, Come All
Heidi and Sabrina are two of the most badass women you will ever meet. Their hearts are on fire for all of humankind, so naturally, their business turned into a safe space for people of all colors and religions and the LGBTQ community. It was the epitome of a “Come One, Come All” kind of space. Well, unless you are a jerk, a bigot, or take up more than one parking space.
“We reserve the right to refuse service to jerks, bigots, and people who take up more than one parking space.”
At any given time, you could find people from all walks of life inside the cafe peacefully coexisting. And this was something that always baffled me in the best way possible.
One table would host an intense table-top RPG like Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering. Next to them would be a diverse group of people learning Spanish for the first time. At the next table is a business meeting. The next table is students with their eyes glued to their homework. Then, a group of Muslim women drinking tea and chatting away in a circle of comfy armchairs. A Christian couple is reading from the Bible two feet away. Then you’ve got happy parents cutting up brownies for their kid(s) at a high-top table.
It was all just normal. As it should be.
One of my favorite memories from The Quirky Feather happened the week before Trump’s inauguration. As I was waiting in line, I noticed a big table of women of all ages with poster boards and markers making signs for the first Women’s March. I legitimately couldn’t contain myself.
I dropped my place in line to step over to the table and waited patiently for the group’s attention. (I’m terrible at accidentally / awkwardly startling people.)
The women greeted me with incredible warmth as I asked if they were making signs for the Women’s March. They beamed as they went around the table reading what their signs were going to say and introducing themselves to me.
I was somewhat in a hurry that night, so I asked when they would be back in the cafe again working on their signs so I could come back and help out. A few of us exchanged information, we hugged, and we went our separate ways.
As I stood in line after meeting them, I watched as more and more curious people introduced themselves to the table, offering their support and encouragement.
Over the two years The Quirky Feather was open, Heidi and Sabrina became so much more to me (and my fiancé) than perfect bakers and baristas. We became really good friends. I’d like to think it was just me and Patrick who formed this special bond (with the entire staff, really), but I know for a fact that that isn’t the case.
Every guest in the cafe was special and appreciated. It was something magnificent I witnessed every single time I stopped by for cookies or coffee (or both, let’s be honest).
Patrick and I share a bond with Sabrina and Heidi that I’m sure hundreds and hundreds of other Indy folk do. And that will always warm my heart to think about.
So What Now?
To tell you the truth, I don’t know. I know Sabrina and Heidi and going to continue to kick ass wherever they go. I’m not worried about them in the least bit.
As for you? I’m not sure yet where you’ll fulfill your late-night sweet tooth, catch up with your friends over tea, or study into the night. But again, that’s not what I’m here for.
I’m here to say thank you until I’m blue in the face to Heidi, Sabrina, and the entire Quirky Feather staff for all they did for the community. I never thought I’d cry (this much, at least) for the closing of a coffee shop. But here we are. My eyes are filled with tears, but my heart is full of gratitude.
With much love,