Before the pandemic, 2020 looked to be a year of great adventure for Greg and Liz. Just engaged and opening a new coffee shop, there was a lot for them to look forward to.
And then, one month after their engagement, the Covid-19 hit. At the time, Liz was working at The Massachusett’s General Hospital, where the Intensive Care Unit was so filled with Covid patients they had to use the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for overflow for adult Covid patients.
How quickly life can change in a month. Something most of us can relate to, as the pandemic has touched all of us in so many ways. Liz and Greg had always talked about getting a puppy. They had both grown up with dogs and knew the happiness a dog could bring. However, it never seemed to be the right time. Once most of the country was put on shut down, Greg decided now was the time. It would be a silver lining to these tumultuous times.
“With quarantine, you have a lot more time to do research on what kind of dog fits best for you,” says Greg. They decided to add an adorable brindle-colored Pembroke Welsh Corgi that they named Sadie.
Since the coffee shop was still under construction, Greg was able to work from home, and spend those early days with their new puppy. Liz’s days were often 13 hours long with her commute. She would come home drained. “A lot of times the days (at work) can be heartbreaking,” says Liz. “I come home with all of that heavy weight on me from my day and Sadie comes up… just like, ‘I’m here, I’m happy, it’s ok.’”
Having a dog helps the couple stay active. After long days at their jobs it would be easy to come home and be lazy. “Sadie is just a little bundle of positivity. She’s a Corgi, so just non-stop energy.” Greg laughs. “That’s what I needed.”
Opening a food service business at any time is challenging, but doing so during the pandemic is nearly impossible. Living close to the new coffee shop allowed Greg to return home a few times a day for therapy sessions with Sadie. “She’s my best little friend,” says Greg. How can you not feel anything but happy by just looking at her.”
Greg and his family persevered, Sweetwaters Cafe in Natick, MA opened in late September 2020 and is now thriving.