When I swing the door open to Lucid Coffee Bar, in search of an ice cold Americano, generous on the mocha and light on the cream, I am used to hearing two familiar sounds -- the rattling of bells attached to the inside door handle, alerting the room of a new visitor and Eric DeLong’s loud, unique high-pitched laugh.
In the midst of writing this piece, I was searching for the right words to describe Eric. While he truly is 'one-of-a-kind', the cliche sentiment just wasn’t cutting it.
Fortunately, while interviewing Jake Jones, a friend of Eric's, he summed up the world’s perception of him wonderfully, “If you know Eric, if you run into Eric, your life is just better because of it.”
Eric DeLong in many ways is a jack of all trades, but for the sake of this blog’s length, we will sum up Lucid’s head barista in three titles -- musician, worship pastor and coffee connoisseur.
Eric DeLong grew up in Russell, KY, a small town located in the Northeastern part of the state, nestled on the south bank of the Ohio River.
He didn’t grow up with much, nearly nothing at all. It was this that taught him to seek out all the beauty in the world that money couldn’t buy -- great music, laughter and a damn good cup of coffee.
In many ways, what truly should be considered the finer things in life.
Ten years ago, a buddy of Eric’s asked him to move to a city in Southern Indiana, where he had plans to plant a church.
It was in Evansville where the two friends planted Resurgence Church, a place where Eric served as an elder for 10 years, before taking on the position of Head Barista at Lucid Coffee bar. He still serves actively at the church he helped build as a worship pastor.
“I love coffee and I love providing great coffee for people -- whether that is someone that is already really into coffee, or someone that is trying it for the first time. Enjoying coffee is more of an experience than just actually drinking it. For a lot of people, it’s a ritual.
I also just love working with people. That’s obvious, with my background in ministry. I love getting to know people. Learning what makes people tick. I just really enjoy helping people have a great experience.
Ultimately, I want to add value to other people’s lives in a meaningful way -- whether that be through serving an exceptional cup of coffee with Lucid, leading worship at Resurgence or writing and playing music.”
I asked Eric about some of his future ambitions,
“My dream would be to continue to help build Lucid; but also have a studio where I could provide both a space and instruments for kids that are under-resourced. Kids that don’t have money to have musical instruments and the ability to express themselves creatively.”
After Eric and I’s interview, I followed the Ohio River home, in my little red pick-up truck, whilst sipping my Americano and listening to my favorite song of his, “Broke & Blind”. I thought it only appropriate to close with a set of lyrics from that particular song.
The Final Five
What is a daily routine that keeps you on your A-game?
“I wake up, get out of bed and make a cup of coffee.”
What book do you most often gift to others?
“Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.”
What is your vice?
“When I am focused on something, I tend to be extremely oblivious to other things going on around me.”
What is your superpower?
If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?
“Listen, because life is nuanced.”