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16000 E. Michigan Ave., Albion 49224

4 Tables and 8 Chairs: A Lesson in Expectations


Before Foundry Bakehouse and Deli opened we knew that we would have outdoor seating. We were lucky enough to be in a corner building at one of the busiest intersections in town. Our sidewalks were just begging to have tables and chairs that our customers could enjoy! 

By early June we were awarded the permit fro the City of Albion to create outdoor seating along Erie Street. We set out four tables and eight chairs along Erie Street and anxiously waited for people to sit and enjoy. Many people were excited to see the outdoor seating option. Unfortunately, their excitement was usually followed by “you better lock those up at night” or “I sure hope nothing happens to them”. 

What does it say about a person’s perception of their community when excitement is followed by the expectation that something bad will happen? What does it mean when we expect nice things to be stolen or vandalized? 

We chose to expect more from our community. We trusted that our tables and chairs would remain on the sidewalk, unharmed without locking them up each night. At the end of the season our four tables and eight chairs sat outside for more than four months, 24 hours a day completely unharmed. 

We are proud of Albion and we believe that when expectations are raised, citizens will do the right thing. Thank you, Albion for meeting our expectations.

About the Author

Emily Verbeke was born and raised in Albion and attended Albion College. She returned to Albion in 2018 to work for Caster Concepts and lead several small downtown businesses including Pure Albion, The Office Albion, and Foundry Bakehouse and Deli.

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