The Extraordinary Ordinary: Terence and Janis Lott

[Originally posted July 8, 2015]

Davis is reflected in the glass of the large New York Times clock in Newsbeat's window, the perfect juxtoposition to describe Newsbeat'sowners,Terence and Janis Lott, and how they conduct their business. (The clock was given to them by the New York Times for being "the perfect newstand.")

Newsbeat is a Davis institution. Janis and Terence are bright lights in our community. They embrace their customers with respect, kindness and care. And they never waver. I've experienced and observed the love they express to everyone who walks into the Newsbeat, regardless of the person's station in life. 

"We're all in this together, people," said Janis. "Being kind is not hard to do. It's all about relationships, about being kind to one another." 

Janis is deeply touched when customers--even from their Sacramento store, which they've since closed--come in to see how they're faring or to show them their new puppy or meet their new baby. Terence and Janis cherish their regulars, too. The eighty-year-old men who come in regularly for their morning newspapers and to talk, for example, and the people who bring in their dogs, well-knowing that Janis and Terence have dog treats at the ready. 

"It's the kind of store that welcomes people from every walk of life with humanity, kindness, and great regard," said Terence. Janis refers to the Newsbeat as "a nice, visceral experience, a little mental health break for people. They can buy or not buy."

Janis is especially grateful for all the quiet support she received from customers and vendors when she was going through chemo. Years later, people are still checking up on her. 

In 25 years of business, they've never had to advertise. "We feel like Newsbeat is special because we're in a special place," said Terence."Yes," chimed Janis, "We're a college town, but we're not hoity-toity like some university towns. There's a bucolic quality here in Davis, the kindness and warmth of an agricultural community...that connection to earth and water and growing things." 

Janis and Terence ardently support local artists and authors in their store, too, which brings us back to our town reflected in Newsbeat's New York Times clock. Sophistication without pretension. Intelligence, not intellectualism. And an awareness of what people want and need. First and foremost, though, is love. Plain and simple. 

Janis and Terence, you are rays of sunshine who brighten all our lives. Thank you for being so extraordinary.