Never Ever Give Up
How one father keeps his son's legacy alive while serving the community
Small businesses are the heart of big cities and suburbs alike. They are hidden like treasures, waiting to be discovered down unexpected street corners. I had the pleasure of interviewing the owner of Grounds and Gold, a small coffee shop with a big story.
“Grounds and Gold is inspired by my son.” Owner, Maurice Ahern said. “My son’s name was Micah and he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was one year old and he fought that for six years and passed away four years ago in 2016.”
Many times our best achievements come from great hardship and Grounds and Gold is no exception,
“For a long time in my life I lived in fear but one thing my son taught me is that aspect of not giving up.” Ahern said. “When he passed, I didn’t want to look back on my life and say what if.”
Because Ahern feels so strongly for families dealing with childhood cancer, he puts in effort to help in any way he can. This means financially and by letting his customers give a child a personal note to brighten their day.
“While we were at Cooks we would get random letters from people we didn’t even know and sometimes that little thing would spread joy and make us feel less alone.” Ahern said. “Anyone can give money but this is something more personal.”
When you walk in the shop you will feel an aura of care and joy. Then when you look to your right you will see a beautiful mural of superheroes.
“With the Mural I wanted something fun.” Ahern said. “I didn’t want a memorial because Micah was a child and I wanted to capture that aspect of him.”
There are so many details in the mural that you could look at it forever, it captures Micah’s cheerful energy and includes many aspects of his story.
“I wanted to capture the joyous elements along with meaningful memories or causes we support.” Ahern said.
The first part of the mural that you will see is Micah’s smile,
“Front and center or the mural is Micah with his big smile and he’s wearing a Cub Scout uniform because he was a Cub Scout for a few years.” Ahern said.
Around him are his siblings,
“Then surrounding him are three super heroes which are his siblings.” Ahern said. “Everyone knew Micah as superhero Micah but in my opinion his siblings are just as much superheroes if not more because they are the strongest kids I know and they are resilient in what they are doing today after losing their brother.”
Micah even has a drink named in his honor, the “Micah Mocha.”
“One of Micah’s favorite candies was Almond Joy so we wanted to take a drink and craft it from that.” Ahern said. “We don’t have a whole lot of sweet coffee on our menu so the Micah Mocha is one of the sweeter drinks.”
Ahern’s goal when starting Grounds and Gold was to create a place where the community could go and make happy memories,
“Micah was one of the happiest people, always known for his smile.” Ahern said. “He loved everyone and was one of the friendliest people so I wanted to make a place where everyone could feel accepted, loved, and warm.”
Although he may not cure cancer, Ahern wants to create a place where these families can have an escape while dealing with hardship,
“Even if I can’t bring a cure” Ahern said, “If I can create an environment that helps bring a lot of care to these families and create memories then I am successful.”
Grounds and Gold is a larger coffee shop and this is no accident,
“We want a place where the community can come and do an event or we offer coffee classes and baking classes; we also have open mic night every other Thursday so local musicians come in and perform here.” Ahern said. “We are always evolving to be a place where the community feels they can come.”
Because Grounds and Gold is becoming a hearth of the city of Arlington, Ahern has endless gratitude for the people who support the coffee shop and it’s cause,
“We are thankful for our supportive customers and we’d love for people to give us a try.” Ahern said. “I’m just really thankful to be able to do this.”
Grounds and Gold has such an inspiring story that proves that achieving your dreams is possible, no matter what you have been through.
“If anyone is out there with a dream and a little afraid to do it I want to be an encouragement to them.” Ahern said. “It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.”