Have you ever met someone who is genuinely and inherently good? Have you ever encountered someone who is so kind that it radiates in their presence? Someone so sweet and inspiring that you catch yourself smiling helplessly? I never thought this was possible, especially in the cruel and unforgiving society we live in today.
Several weeks ago, I found myself at an ice cream shop in Russian Hill late at night on a weekday. I was having the longest day––possibly even the longest week––and I just needed to relax and enjoy some ice cream from the Baked Bear. Little did I realize, I was leaving with more than just ice cream . I left with a big heart and a peaceful mind all because one woman. One incredibly amazing, compassionate, and beautiful woman.
If you've ever come across her in your life, you would never forget her. She is kind and patient, and works with her heart instead of only her hands, and it shows. Working from morning to night, a lady struggling with carpel tunnel and arthritis in her body gets through every day in her ice cream shop with a big smile and a kind heart. She is the owner of the place, and I truly believe if anyone else owned it, the whole atmosphere of the ice cream shop would be different. Not only is it great customer service, but she is the reason that a great amount of people come back to this place. You can tell whenever a regular customer walks in because Emma welcomes them back by their first name; she asks how their family is, how their weekend has been, and if they are doing alright. Even if that is a customer's first time there, she goes out of her way to be hospitable and welcoming––anything to make her customers comfortable, which is a great business tactic. An angel at her most humble form, Emma cares about her customers in the same way everyone cares about their family. She gets on a personable level with as many customers as she can, and from the conversations I’ve had with her, it is evident that this connection she builds with her customers goes deeper than just business ethics. It keeps all her fellow ice-cream lovers coming back frequently; it keeps me coming back as much as I can. She has the personality that instantaneously makes your day. All it takes is a smile and a hello from her to change your mood around. When she is free to have a conversation with you, she’ll make sure that everything is going well in your life; it’s a bonus that she owns an ice cream shop so when you’re having a bad day, an endless amount of ice cream, cookies, and other sweet treats are literally sitting just five feet away from you. She’ll tell you about the interesting events and encounters of her day, tell you what kind of ice cream sandwich she recommends that day, and will constantly compliment you on virtually anything that is possible to commend someone in. She gives my boyfriend a diabetic-threatening amount of hot fudge on his ice cream—she even made a joke that he’s the type of person who eats a bowl of hot fudge with a little bit of ice cream! The best part about her though, is when she talks about her own family—her grandson, specifically. I’ve seen how she is with her customers and her employees, which is admirable in itself, but there is something so genuine about the way she speaks of her kin. Her eyes light up when she brings up her grandson and you literally feel her heart grow five times bigger. You feel a true connection with her—a spark even—that inspires you to be better and to do better. You can tell she has been through a lot in her life to get to where she is today. She is a woman that is loved by many and is greatly appreciative of it. It is not luck or coincidence, she deserves everything she is blessed with and in all honesty, I am the one that is blessed because of her presence in my life. I’ve only known her for a few weeks but I’m so grateful for stumbling upon this ice cream shop. It’s what brought me to her. She constantly reminds me that I am beautiful on the inside and out, and all I can say is that I’m learning from her. I’m not the only one who thinks this, too. If you check out the Yelp page for this shop, a suggested highlight is her name. Every single review that mentions customer service and Emma herself praise her, giving nothing less than a four-star review for the place. Of course, her ice cream sandwiches are worthy of the high ratings; her integrity and personality counts as the icing on the cake. Good business, don’t you think?
She is the first person I’ve encountered in a long time that I believe is genuinely kind-hearted and benevolent. In a wicked and relentless society, it’s hard to find someone who’s been through so much yet still appreciates life and everything in it. But Emma is it. She is the one in a million. She is a woman I would do anything for; if anything happened to her I would do whatever I could in my power to make sure she is alright. She inspires me to better myself and to open my heart to others. She reminds me how important it is to have a big heart and positive mindset no matter what goes on. She shows you what a good relationship takes, and how simple it is to make. She is angel and a blessing to everyone who comes across her, and she is a prime example of what everyone should be. If more people be like her and learn from her character, the world would be better. I would be lucky to be half the person she is, and hope that one day I could achieve so. She is the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Emma, you are a blessing in my life and I wish you the best. I wish you health and happiness and for you to never forget that you are beautiful both inside and out. I’m thankful for having you in my life, and can’t wait until I see you (and your glorious ice cream sandwiches) again.
Baked Bear | 303 Columbus Ave San Francisco, CA 94133 | Yelp | thebakedbear.com