Eric & I are definitely morning people. Eric wakes up around 7 every morning, and I demonstrate the fraction of which I am slightly less of a morning person than him and crawl out of bed at 7:20 when I smell espresso brewing. Our efforts toward cappuccino-mastery wrap up no later than 8am, and I never shy away from creating hearty breakfasts before 9. We kill a pound of coffee, a loaf of bread and nearly two dozen eggs in a week. Definitely breakfast people. Definitely morning people.
It’s safe to say our morning(!!!)/early-afternoon gig this past Saturday at BirchTree Bread Company was our favorite gig of all time. We got to play from 11am-1pm; a welcome, golden hour for two people who get sleepy at 9pm. We excitedly pulled up to the bustling Crompton building, located in the heart of Kelley Square in the Canal District of Worcester (only a mile from our house). We reminisced as we carried our guitars by the Farmer’s Market going on in the White Room – the event space below BirchTree where we had our wedding reception – and headed up into the brand new cafe/bakery. I was immediately and warmly welcomed by Avra, one-half of the married duo that dreamed this place up. She brought me my second cup of coffee and Eric excitedly sipped on espresso made in a much more professional machine than the dinky one we have, and we set up our sound system. While we played (mostly fun, acoustic covers), toddlers and parents and college students swarmed the beautiful wood and brick room that was an abandoned textile mill only a year ago. The line for coffee, cappuccinos, and delicately baked bread topped thickly with whipped butter and jam was literally out the door. Kids danced around the room to our funky Motown covers, family and friends (my mom drove an hour and a half to see us!!) waved as they walked by with their yummy sandwiches, and we laughed and joked while we played our original songs to a happy Saturday-morning crowd.
I looked at Eric during our break and said, “If we weren’t here to play, I’d still want to be spending my Saturday morning here.” He nodded as he gazed at the perfect layer of crema on his second espresso. (I don’t try to understand my husband’s espresso obsession.)
Worcester is a city with potential, everyone says. And the word on our lips (and the lips of college students and other Worcester-lovers enjoying BirchTree) Saturday was, “Finally.” Head chef and owner Rob Fecteau saw the same potential in the Canal District that we did when we knew we had to get married in the Crompton building. We whispered that same “Finally!” at our wedding reception, seeing the old mill come to life as an event space. When I moved to Worcester 6 years ago, the Canal wasn’t quite there yet. The buildings were run-down and the area was really only attracting a nightclub/bar scene. Now, with the addition of the BirchTree (on top of so many wonderful new businesses in the Crompton building, and a lot of great restaurants down Water, Green & Millbury Streets), the Canal is alive. New life is teeming in these old factory buildings. Families, college students, and creatives were all flocking to Water Street this Saturday to get a taste of Rob’s delicious raisin bread, some fun tunes, a great cup of joe and the sweetness of a fun Saturday morning in the Canal District. Finally!