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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 :).
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
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!"
I still try and find these places with my own children in tow and hope the memories stick with them.
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.
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....
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.
I'm confused, what has "Pounding on other folk's asses" have to do with Coffee and shopping locally ;~))
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.
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..."
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^>