Throw a Party, Invite the World

July 2, 2009


Years ago Victoria and I heard about a long standing Bay Area soup night. The premise is that the host makes a big pot of soup and invites anyone to come eat. Some people bring other food, others just eat. Since there is no controlling who came there are endless possibilities for social and intellectual cross-pollination . This idea settled deep into my consciousness and made a home. I’ve been carrying it with me for years, and talking about it from time to time.

At the beginning of this year Victoria and I decided the time had come to build our own little community event. We put out the word to all of our local friends that we would be hosing a pre-farmer’s market coffee every Sunday morning. We make coffee and a snack (croissants, coffee cake, etc.) and our friends come as is or with food. Its turned out to be more fun than we ever expected, and its started to blossom to the point where people are bringing their friends (previously strangers to us). This Sunday will be our 16th Coffee Social.

I’m interested to hear from anyone else who’s hosted a similar all-comers type party. What has the experience been like for you? Did you have good turnout. How do you encourage people to invite their friends. Did you have guests that no one knew before?

Want to join us? Sunday Morning Coffee Social
Sunday, 9am


  1. Comment by Charity

    Charity August 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Hey, Tucker!

    In the reading I’m doing for my Happiness Project, everyone is touting the benefits of strengthening (or forming) community, not only for increasing happiness but also for promoting results related to Saving the World. I was reminded of y’all’s coffee socials (I know this is old news…I think I mentioned before that things often percolate (pun intended) in my head for a long time before I find an application for them), and I’m mulling over the idea of hosting a coffee hour/social in our neck of the woods for the purpose of building social connection. I’m wondering how you and Victoria got started with yours, how it grew, and what you would do differently, along with any general advice you could offer. In your free time, of course. I know you’re busy with Convivia.

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford August 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

      I wrote a little about it here. The key I think, was to be completely open to everything. For me it showed me that I wasn’t as laid back as I thought I was; that I could find joy in chaos; that really all you need to do is be there; that word of mouth is way more effective than I could have ever imagined.
      If I were to do it again, I would pretty much do it the exact same way, but I would live somewhere else. My neighbors, in the end, took all the joy out of it. Also, I would say that the Sunday Morning Coffee Social didn’t so much create community as reveal it.

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