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Friday afternoon dilemma
wheel




msg:3646067
 7:16 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been making an effort to shop locally recently, put my money with the retailers in the small town I live and work in. I was just about to walk out the door to go grab a coffee when I realized I didn't know where to go.

I can walk across the street to the local cafe for my coffee. But I'm not as fond of their coffee as I am of the alternative chain store that's available. However the cafe owner is a fellow chamber of commerce member and is a quaint downtown retailer. The coffee they use is also from a local coffee importer. And the cafe owner has a point of only hiring staff that look like people one should never hire (young folks with too many hood ornaments). Service is outstanding, coffee is secondary.

Alternative is to drive down the highway 2 minutes to the local starbucks-type shop. Love the coffee, it's always consistent and it'll be fresh for sure due to volume. Service is horrible, I'll probably have to repeat twice 'one medium coffee with cream'. But I like the coffee.

What's the proper choice? Please respond promptly, I want a coffee sooner rather than later :).

 

LifeinAsia




msg:3646068
 7:19 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Go to the local shop and buy a brownie (or muffin or something else), then go get your coffee at the other place.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 7:19 pm (utc) on May 9, 2008]

wheel




msg:3646085
 7:28 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Peanut butter cookie for me :).

Dabrowski




msg:3646213
 9:56 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, unless you live somewhere where, lets face it, web development would be somewhat of a niche market...chances are your coffee isn't local anyway.

Buy the coffee that's the best. Don't know how they do it but I'll always go out of my way for a Starbucks.

If you feel guilty, give your tips to the local guy! :D

Lovejoy




msg:3646237
 10:31 pm on May 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Talk up the owner of the local cafe, ask about the beans etc....the type you like, be a regular and your coffee will likely improve. I did that once, the owner ended up becoming a friend who wouldn't let me pay for coffee ;~)

Lovejoy

weeks




msg:3646660
 1:27 pm on May 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree with Lovejoy. Give them some positive and frank feedback. Be specific as you can.

Years ago I traveled in rural areas and I always tried to get the local flavor of a place by trying the local mom and pop shops, especially the restaurants. I hate to say it, but time and again the food was terrible and the service was worse. Seldom was it better than the chain on the highway, often not as good. And it was expensive.

It's sad, but the major chains earned their business with reasonable prices and good quality. They also gave their managers some training and the employees benefits. Often in the mom and pops it was the daughter in law and her sister working resentfully. And, you could tell that the mom and pops bought the low bid stuff.

I doubt it's the coffee that is the difference, but instead how it's made. The water is likely too hot, not hot enough or the water/coffee ration is not just quite right. Or, it could be the grind.

Of course, keep in mind that Starbucks just recently discovered that a lot of people didn't like their stuff. They have ads out now saying, "Hey, we now sell just a cup of coffee!"

Lovejoy




msg:3646983
 9:42 pm on May 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm 53 and miss the Mom & Pop places, not all were greasy spoons. I remember as a kid going fishing with my dad at 5:00am-ish and stopping in for breakfast at some of these places. Some had reps for certain meals, one would be great for bacon & eggs, but not fish & chips, another would have homemade pie, bread and scrambled eggs from their own chickens, but terrible tea ;~)

I still try and find these places with my own children in tow and hope the memories stick with them.

Lovejoy

Marcia




msg:3652901
 4:20 am on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I always have and still try to support the small local guy when I can (on and off line, even). When I had rats in the house for a while, instead of buying them the cheap food at the big chain store, I'd go to the local Mom 'n Pop shopkeeper and buy his locally provide special mix that they loved.

There's a huge difference between how the big guys treat customers (and animals and birds)in big chains and how the local private businesses are.

Dabrowski




msg:3653043
 1:13 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

rats in the house for a while

When I had rats in the house, I always found that poison from the local guy was better too.

Lovejoy




msg:3653064
 1:43 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Rats in the house for a while", I had to read that one twice before it sank in ;~) When we had a kennel we used to make our own organic dog food in a cement mixer ( we had 10-20 dogs at a time). We purchased everything from the locals, and I still do.

We have a farmer's market downtown, my son and I bike down Saturday mornings and pick up the week's supply of bread, eggs and whatever is in season. We always grab a big mug of fair trade coffee and some Russian pastry before heading home.

The funny thing is the 12 grain bread I get at the market is cheaper than the 12 grain sofa cushion stuff from the chain stores, as are the organic eggs ( $2.75 a dozen vs $3.50). The meat is a little more dear, but then it's all grass fed ,no hormone etc stuff, and tastes far better than the feedlot stuff from the big chains....

Lovejoy

Marcia




msg:3653103
 3:17 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>"Rats in the house for a while", I had to read that one twice before it sank in ;~)

What choice is there, when the role of "foster mother" is foisted upon you? My grrllll-child (girl-geek extroadinaire, I must admit) moved out of state and left those creatures in my maternal and loving care, trusting my maternal instincts and abilities to best provide for and care for the creatures.

Please don't think that maternal custody matters are a cut-and-dried matter; it isn't always quite that simple.

Marcia




msg:3653106
 3:24 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Back to the Friday afternoon dilemma, which is admittedly a far more serious matter than the moral decay of society as we know it (other than the Brits who have solved the perplexing issues during afternoon Tea), why can't we all just leave each other alone and stop pounding on other folks' arses just because we don't happen to agree with them?

DamonHD




msg:3653146
 4:45 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Marcia, stop that reasonable behaviour RIGHT NOW!

We're on the IntarWebs, damnit!

Rgds

Damon

B^>

Lovejoy




msg:3653253
 10:25 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Back to the Friday afternoon dilemma, which is admittedly a far more serious matter than the moral decay of society as we know it (other than the Brits who have solved the perplexing issues during afternoon Tea), why can't we all just leave each other alone and stop pounding on other folks' arses just because we don't happen to agree with them? "

I'm confused, what has "Pounding on other folk's asses" have to do with Coffee and shopping locally ;~))

Lovejoy

LifeinAsia




msg:3653698
 3:36 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm confused, what has "Pounding on other folk's asses" have to do with Coffee and shopping locally ;~))

What? Your local shop doesn't offer S&M sessions with the baristas? Then you definitely need to have a chat with the owner.

Lovejoy




msg:3653726
 4:32 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't frequent places that have "baristas", I prefer waitress's that bring my order to the table in big thick mugs,know what I like in my coffee and how I like my eggs without telling them ;~)))

Lovejoy

Marcia




msg:3653731
 4:48 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I prefer waitress's that bring my order to the table in big thick mugs,know what I like in my coffee and how I like my eggs without telling them ;~)))

That ain't a waitress compadre, that's a wife.

Lovejoy




msg:3653895
 7:18 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe for you ;~))but in Lou's Cozy Grill,( Established 1957) it's " Hey Lovejoy, having the usual ?

Lovejoy

Syzygy




msg:3653959
 8:29 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

"The usual?"... Yup, it's a fine feeling when you can walk into a place and have that said to you. Even better is when they know exactly how you like your usual.

Only two places I've been that regular a customer for it to have happened - a once local greasy spoon and pub in the back streets of central London.

Having moved to a different country now, it's easy to miss the comfort of such things. I'd always favour the local over the global.

Syzygy

Lovejoy




msg:3654072
 11:11 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Which pub? I might tossed back a pint or two there. I like London, but haven't been back since 2002. There was this Pub in Brighton, about three blocks from the train station that had a great Guinness meat pie...... There is something to be said of having your own local.

Lovejoy

Syzygy




msg:3654270
 7:58 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Which pub? The White Lion on Central Street, EC1. A slightly run down place, but with a very friendly crowd an ever-attentive landlady and always a warm welcome. Mind you there were many times when there was not a drop of whisky in the place: because the landlord had invariably drunk it all (last I heard, he was in rehab)!

I do miss having that feel of being a local; to walk into the small corner shops and be greeted with an air of friendliness and recognition. I'm a firm believer that your support for such small businesses does pay dividends in the longer term - to both you and them.

I mean, you walk into a global and ask if they can get some more of that something specific you like. Ask if they can keep something especially in stock for you. Walk in, buy something and, realising you've forgotten to bring money, feel reassured when they say, "That's all right, pay me next time you're in..."

Syzygy

DamonHD




msg:3654792
 8:21 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, I used to visit the White Lion many moons ago. Carpet was a little on the sticky side IIRC...

Now my local train-station coffee seller knows my tipple, and the ticket clerks know my ticket. So much so that I can reverse or mix the orders (Zone 5 latte, please) without catastrophe! B^>

Rgds

Damon

Lovejoy




msg:3654883
 10:11 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I must have missed the White Lion, but maybe it was late in the day ;~)
One of my favorites outside London was the The Cricketers
Clavering, near Saffron Walden, Essex.

Lovejoy

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