Long time loyal customer honoured at Linda’s Place and Coffee Shop

You can sit here, but you have to be awesome!

You can sit here, but you have to be awesome!

When you go to Linda’s Place and Coffee Shop in Midhurst, you’re greeted by the smell of fresh coffee and a picture of their best customer, Harold Hickling, placed over his favourite seat in the house.

Every day for over 30 years Harold would start his morning routine at the coffee shop, he would sit in his spot, order toast with jam and a coffee. On weekends he would splurge for a Western sandwich.

The owner of Lindas, Annette Lymbertos, says she first met Harold when she was a server: “One of the servers said, ‘Oh, that’s an old farmer guy who’s here every day.’ That had my interest right away because I’m farmed stock myself.

“He’s just a wonderful man, very warm and very welcoming. He was easy to talk to, and you wanted to know him.
He was like the mountain, and everybody wanted to be near him.

“You could set your watch by him. We still have his daughter and son-in-law’s phone number on the bulletin board in the back, Just in case, he didn’t come in to make sure he was okay. He was part of our family, and I feel like we were part of his.”

image courtesy of Linda’s Place and Coffee Shop Via facebook

Lymbertos remembers the large crowd for Harold’s 92nd birthday party. “No party was promoted on Facebook, no nothing, and this place filled up! We nearly took the roof off with the happy birthday song!”

Harold’s relationship with workers in the coffee shop didn’t end when he moved into a home. Before the Covid-19 pandemic he moved to a retirement home because it was unsafe for him to be on his own.

At the beginning of Covid, the family invited me to hold posters outside the window for his birthday. I’m honoured to be part of that.

Harold passed away in October at 96 years old. Lymbertos says he was a fabric of Linda’s Place and wanted to create a tribute to her long-time customer.

Wishing Harold a Happy Birthday during pandemic birthday.
image courtesy of Linda’s Place and Coffee Shop Via facebook

“All of our literature on our website and our gift cards says, ‘You’re welcome to come in and sit a while but just not in Heralds spot.’

“So, we have a little plaque above his spot that says, ‘Harold’s spot, you can sit here, but you have to be awesome.’ And it sits right above his seat now.

“Harold’s name is brought up daily, so I know people will smile when they see it.”

feature image courtesy of image courtesy of Linda’s Place and Coffee Shop Via facebook

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