FINALLY! Indoor seating at Muddy’s is back, baby!
One of our favorite parts of the Muddy’s experience of the last 15 years has been seating inside the bakery. It’s loads of fun, feels like a party, and it’s really special for us as bakers to put tons of effort into making something and then actually get to SEE people enjoy it. Seeing someone take a bite of what you made, close their eyes in bliss, and smile... So Satisfying.
And obviously the guest experience is great with seating too! Beyond the simple comfort factor of a place to sit down, how lovely to savor a tasty treat while being able to look directly into the kitchen and see the real people who made it making more treats- from scratch, with care! So awesome.
So here we are... we’ve transformed a lot these last few years, but the important things remain the same. From scratch. Baked fresh. A fun place to shop. Attention to detail. Quality ingredients. Full flavor. Friendly folks. And now, a place to stay a moment to enjoy with a friend... or make a new one!
Speaking of making a friend...
You may notice that our beautiful new bench* is dedicated to someone.
We have LOTS of amazing, special customers. People who make this place what it is (if you’re bothering to read this, you’re probably one of them!). And Charlton is one too... and how.
When we were planning the layout of this “new” Muddy’s and visioning our ideal experience (for ourselves and our guests), we put a lot of thought into the seating experience. Over the years, we’ve observed a few things about seating and how it influences the flow, interactions, etc. For example, lots of seating + wifi actually discourages the kind of community building we are constantly striving for. While a smaller seating area can get crazy, it also encourages sharing, scooching, fun, and fellowship... more like a party than an office.
And as all experienced hosts know, a HUGE part of a party’s success lies in the guests themselves and how they interact with each other. The best parties almost always have at least one guest who acts more like a deputy host... someone who makes a point of saying hello to strangers, offering to share their table, engaging those around them. When that happens, MAGIC happens!
Back to Charlton... he is THAT guest times a hundred. He frequented both of the old shops, but was a regular at Sanderlin. If he sees a Muddy’s team member he doesn't recognize, he learns their name and then makes a point of using it. Waiting in line at the register, he strikes up a conversation with the customer next to him- - and is genuinely interested. When seating got crowded, he’d invite strangers to share his table—for Charlton, there’s always room for a new friend. I’ve even seen him reading to kids while their frazzled parents shop (or go to the bathroom or just take a breath for a minute!)
Charlton embodies the vibe we always hope to create here at Muddy’s. Our mission in its entirety reads:
Muddy’s exists to love and serve our community! To be a place where kindness is contagious, hospitality is legendary, and every bite you eat is outrageously delicious. A place where every person matters and we use our powers for good. A place you can’t wait to visit again; an experience you’re proud to share!
Charlton himself is a wonderful example of our mission in action, even though he’s a customer not an employee. He IS contagious kindness. He shares hospitality. He makes every person feel like they matter.
So yeah, we named the bench* after him. :)
And we hope YOU enjoy sitting on it!
We want you to love every moment here at Muddy’s. We CAN’T WAIT for you to enjoy a cupcake and cup of coffee with a friend or family member (inside! where it’s warm!). To watch the action in the kitchen while you eat. To laugh and enjoy a moment on this bench. We also hope you’ll say hello to a stranger and welcome them as a friend. Share a table, share a minute. After all, it’s Muddy’s Friendship Bench, dedicated to a very special friend.
*Also, no, they’re not church pews... our absolutely amazing & talented “make everything guy” Josh Miller (seriously incredible craftsman) made them especially for this space. Once the upholsterer finishes the cushions they’ll look less like pews, lol
Photo note: We had a small bench dedication ceremony to surprise Charlton. His wife Dianne and son Lewis were a huge help in gathering his family and keeping it a surprise! Sandy Webb (Muddy's customer, rector at Holy Communion, and my friend) even blessed the bench. Then we all ate warm chocolate chip cookies.