On May 4, 2022, Cyrus broke the internet (in a positive way) by sharing his heart-felt service at the Greatness Cafe to his community.
In a Facebook post he shared that was he overwhelmed by the response he got from people willing to buy gift cards to pay for food for kids in the community. Cyrus said he had a group of kids come in the day before hungry. He vowed going forward if any child came into Greatness Café Hungry, placed their hands over their hearts, they would-be feed. It’s to no surprise that in the last few weeks he and his amazing team have gotten visits from local organizations, magazines, newspapers and Cleveland’s ABC News 5! Shortly after his post, I visited the Greatness Café and sat down with owner and visionary Cyrus Ausar.
Empathy, Passion and Purpose
Community is ages old and a strong community can be a pillar for generations. However, a strong community is not built by mere thought or happenstance. It needs a visionary, someone that sees something for greater than what it is and has a commitment to put in the work. In our community, right here, Stark County, Cyrus is one of those types of visionaries. Sitting with him, he explained that café is more a hubcap for community engagement and food is just an additive.
“People used to say don’t complain about something, you’re not in efforts to change. So that’s why it’s not about the food, it was never about the food. It’s about being visible to the people in the community as someone who can help and someone who cares. I’m from this community. I grew up here, I volunteered here. I have been visible here, so the kids that come in, I identify with them. I know what that’s like, to be hungry and not want to say anything.”
For Cyrus it was clear that his representation meant something to him, that his ability to have a means to an end for a problem, was only just starting.
“We’re the only one here, the only black owned business in downtown Massillon. That’s huge and if we all came together as a collective, all the businesses, what could we do? Like really, what could we change, if we worked together. It’s necessary for all of us to work together.”
For us, parenthood, motherhood is our business, that’s who we serve that’s who we are. But-if we are all real for just one moment, feeding your children may not be your struggle, but maybe it’s emotionally connecting with them or learning that your presence is better than presents. Maybe it’s remembering that they are learning and growing just like you are. Cyrus and I talked about that, parenthood, what’s it’s like to feel a little unheard as a child and what can be like for parents who are “Growing Into Greatness”. I asked him, if he could say one thing to parents, what would it be.
He replied “Try your best. you can try to be better than you were yesterday. We are all a work in progress, all we can do is try.” Simple, humble and little did he know it was quite affirming. Keeping with honesty, parenting can make you feel like you’re not doing the best job at times, however reflecting on his words I realized some keywords: your and try. Your best and try, that’s what things are about in motherhood, giving your best and at least trying each day. Cyrus said, “your kids may not never know and understand while you are trying how hard it is, but your best try is better than nothing.”
Growing Into Greatness
Looking at the menu at Greatness you can’t help but be encouraged, the words and descriptions felt like someone had a megaphone reading them to me. I had to say them out loud to determine what exactly my greatness was that day! It’s amazing what a self-affirming moment can do for your heart while thinking about how the food will fill you up. While there I noticed the motto everyone was wearing, Grow Into Greatness, so I talked with Cyrus about what that means to him. “It’s a reminder, I’m not done yet. All the affirmations are my way of reminding everyone, there is greatness inside of them and they aren’t done yet. Having this café is only the beginning. We are still growing”.
- It’s his work that will grow into greatness.
- It will influence many and leave marks in many hearts.
- Community is more than business and fellowship.
- It’s about shared experiences, embraces of empathy and glimpses of hope.
- See the greatness inside of yourself.
- Each person can, truly make a difference, collectively Greatness Cafe and team there are going to make the community a more stable and reliable place for all people to be and thrive.
So if you haven’t had chance to visit Greatness Café at 121 Lincoln Way East Massillon, OH 44646, get there! This week if you can, find the affirming word that fits you and you won’t be disappointed by your choice. The food is nothing short of delicious and it’s all-natural ingredients, no processed additions. And if you are in for there are free chess classes. So many good lessons in one place, you will not leave empty.
Thank you, Cyrus, for the opportunity to learn about your passion, hear your heart’s vision and enjoy an amazing chicken sandwich, STRONG IS WISE! Be sure to keep up with the great things they are doing by following them:
Instagram: @cyrusausar | @greatnesscafe