The Rabbit and Dragonfly is a coffee shop whose very name brings to mind an unlikely friendship between two animals, a world living in community.
The formation of The Rabbit and Dragonfly has been no small feat. And just like any true community, it has taken our time, labor, and love to become a thing of beauty. The vision for The Rabbit and Dragonfly began eight years ago when Jason Zimmerman discovered the friendship between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He learned about the group of friends and colleagues called the Inklings, and about the commitment, encouragement, and critique they gave to each other week after week.
With that, a goal took shape. What if there was a space where people could enjoy a good cup of coffee, have a stimulating conversation, and leave refreshed? What if there was a place where people were more interested in connecting with each other than in rushing off to the next thing? What if there was a place where coffee, books, and art came together under one roof? What if that place was here and now?
As Jason began to share his vision with friends over the years, the team formed: one by one, people caught his vision and carried his same passion. By the middle of 2012 the team was complete: Jason Zimmerman, Dave Seyfried, Stephanie Todoroff, Missy Garland, David 'Doc' Eisenberg, and me. The journey to open the shop was long and difficult at times, but finally the day arrived and we opened our doors.
Today when you enter The Rabbit and Dragonfly, you quickly discover that it is much more than just another coffee shop in Lancaster City. The mural into Narnia, the map of Middle Earth, the chess boards, and the bar where sitting and chatting are encouraged — they all urge people to slow down and be present.
The cafe also has no shortage of events: an open mic Tuesday evenings (7 – 9 p.m.), concerts once or twice a month on Friday or Saturday evenings, a live radio show every Friday (hosted by Laura Kendall from The Ware Center and Joe Devoy from Tellus 360), and “cereal and cinema” the first Saturday of each month, when guests can enjoy a family-friendly movie and unlimited cereal for $3.
We recently celebrated our first milestone, our six-month anniversary. We can say with confidence that we will celebrate countless more successful six-month anniversaries. Successful not based on the number of employees or the profit made, but on sustaining an environment where conversations begin, friendships form, and communities flourish.
So, the next time you are looking for something more, consider the friendship between the rabbit and the dragonfly.
Laurie Keener has lived in Lancaster City for the past 12 years and is a member at Connect Church. She is a registered nurse and works in Harrisburg at the Bureau of Fees for Services. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading, and spending time with her family and friends, particularly her nieces and nephews. Laurie served with EMM on YES teams to Central Asia (2001) and Cambodia (2005).