One of the perks of working for a locally owned shop is that you get to actually know your bosses. Danielle and Christi, the Hunni twins and mastermind behind the shop, are the sweetest bosses a girl could ask for. It’s not unusual for them to pop into the store and ask for our Starbucks orders, or for them to comment on our Instagram posts. Danielle even knows that I have an obsession with her Boston Terriers, and she’ll bring them by just so I can cuddle them. Job perk? I think so.
Today is Danielle and Christi’s birthday! We think they deserve to be celebrated, so we’ve dedicated this entire blog post to them. They met me for coffee and answered all of the classic “twin” questions, and more.
“Who’s older?” I ask. The answer is a unanimous “Danielle.” Christi remarks, “Danielle is older… and bossier.” The twins chuckle, and go on to tell me how they finish each other’s sentences. “We share so many memories that we think really similarly,” Danielle explains.
“It’s called ‘Twintuition’.” Christi replies. Danielle rolls her eyes and says, “She’s a dork about being a twin.” Twintuition or not, these two seem to be able to read each other’s minds. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve texted them in a group chat about Starbucks or pinning down a time to meet, and one twin responds almost instantly and correctly for the both of them. Grande half-sweet almond milk chai latte? Check. Tomorrow at 12:00? Check. No matter what it is, they don’t seem to need to communicate much with each other before responding.
Despite thinking so similarly, Christi and Danielle both say they are very different from one another. Christi says she’s sportier, and says Danielle has always been more of a princess. “I’m very relaxed and chill. Danielle is more particular and organized and the best planner ever.” Christi says. “We love Frankie and Grace, she’s Grace and I’m Frankie.”
“I’m a little bit of a perfectionist…” Danielle admits.
Although they have different personalities, Danielle and Christi clearly admire one another. “Danielle is extremely compassionate. She’s the kindest and goes above and beyond over everything,” Christi says. “For example, she showed up at our Great Aunt’s birthday party and made it amazing, setting up decorations. She’s the best at surprises, surprises that are meaningful and kind.”“Christi has a heart of gold and she loves to give things and do nice things for people. And she really loves her children,” Danielle says.
If you know the twins, you can agree: They have the cutest families. Danielle has two boys, Caine and Colton. “Caine is definitely our child,” Danielle laughs. “He likes to be organized… I might even say he’s a little bit bossy. But he’s so much fun. He’s a great big brother. He likes to teach Colton how to do things. Hey, Colton, do you want to tell Alexandra anything about yourself?” Colton, Danielle’s youngest, is hanging out while we all chat.
“My name is Colton,” he says, and promptly goes back to the game he’s playing.
“Colton is in preschool and is super excited for kindergarten. He loves to play hide and go seek. He’s extremely sweet and loves all of his grandmas and grandpas and cousins.” Danielle explains.
“Colton’s the life of the party! He has high energy and is tons of fun.” Christi adds.
Christi, on the other hand, has four kids: Parker, Chelan, Hunter, and Lucy. “Parker is 16 and he’s into snowboarding. He took up trampolining and learned how to do the flips and apply it to snowboarding. It’s amazing how he took trampolining to excel his future in snowboarding. He’s currently on a BC snowboard team and enters competitions. Chelan is 10 and does girl guides and likes to rock climb, that’s kind of her thing. She’s also really good at math,” At which point I interrupt and let Christi know I’m jealous of her 10 year old. Math was never my thing. “Chelan and Lucy both play piano, and Lucy does gymnastics with Hunter. Hunter has autism, but it doesn’t define him or describe him. He’s just Hunter. He’s forever changing. Today he’s up the mountain with his grade three class snowshoeing and sledding and I might have previously thought that could never happen. But it’s moments like those that show you that wow, you can face any challenge you want and make it happen if you just try.”
“It’s crazy how much he’s [Hunter] grown, in his talking and communicating, even in just the past year,” Danielle explains.
Of course, we finish our time by talking about the shop we all know and love: Hunni’s. “I’m proud of the shop. I’m happy with the direction that it’s gone in and that it’s growing. It feels really good to be supported by the community,” Danielle says. “I love how, in turn, we can support our own community by bringing in local brands and artists,” Christi adds.
It’s not just the shop itself that’s been impactful for Danielle and Christi, though. It’s the relationships the shop has generated. “We’ve met so many cool people in the industry, and so many amazing people have come and worked for us. We’ve made so many friends through the store,” Danielle shares.
“We had some long running employees who have remained friends. You just build these relationships and they’re almost like long lost sisters and cousins. We’ve built our own Hunni Family,” Christi says. As an employee, I can attest to that being true. Working here does feel like you’re working with family, and I think that family atmosphere extends to you, too, Hunni’s. If you follow our journey, you’re part of the family. I think I can speak for all of us, then, when I say a very Happy Birthday to you, Danielle and Christi! Thank you for the endless Starbucks treats, the puppy cuddles, the jokes, and the good conversations. It wouldn’t be Hunni’s without you.
– Alexandra, Store Manager, Hunnis Coquitlam