I love coffee shops. For some reason ,my neighborhood is a magnet for gourmet coffee establishments. There are seven within a three-mile area (and I live in the suburbs).
One small shop has been my absolute favorite since I moved here years ago. It’s a fun place to hang out. They do all of the little things right. The barista’s have personalities, they’re fun, and they’ve make me feel welcome.
The problem is that over the last month, more times than not, when I arrive there, eager to be re-caffeinated by my friendly baristas, they have been out of coffee.
Call me rigid and dogmatic, but I believe for some reason that one thing a coffee shop should not do is run out of coffee. Every morning that I have to stand there and watch my coffee brewing gets me more steamed than the milk in a latte. The barista who seemed so charming feel much less charming.
My little coffee spot is under new ownership. One of my favorite barista’s decided to buy the place. She is passionate about the place. She’s installed new floors, added to the food menu and added a greater selection of coffee. Her excitement and effort have increased business noticeably. She must remember, however, that people go to coffee shops for coffee.
This is a lesson for every business to keep top-of-mind. If you do everything great, but you don’t have the coffee, you have failed. If you spend so much time “adding value” but you lose sight of the reason why you exist, you won’t sustain growth.
This morning I arrived for my 7am cup. I saw several cars in front of the shop and bet myself that the place would be out of coffee. Sad to say, I was right again. I feel terrible about it, but my loyalty to the place has been replaced by irritation and distrust. A cup of coffee can be a very personal thing. They’ve let me down, and I take it personally.
Where will I go for my coffee tomorrow morning? I don’t know.
Until next time, Doug