You know me. I buy organic groceries. I cook at home more than we eat out. I care about what goes into my body and my family’s bodies. You also know that I am addicted to coffee, especially mochas. My new temp assignment is in a building with a Starbucks on the ground floor.
I like to support independent and funky coffee houses. I want to be an owner of an independent, funky coffee house. I’m a caffeine junky and Starbucks is right there.
I know, everyone is supposed to hate Starbucks. It’s a giant corporation that is taking over the world, running mom and pop businesses out of city centers and turning the world into one big, homogenous Mall of America. Ok.
Starbucks makes an effort to source fair trade coffee. Starbucks’ employees who work 20 hours a week or more can get healthcare (including dental). Starbucks uses recycled materials and makes an effort on the corporate level to eliminate waste and therefore preserve our planet for future generations of coffee fiends. Starbucks isn’t Walmart.
All that is info that can be found online, or by walking into any Starbucks store and collecting their corporate information brochures at the sugar and stirrer counter. However, the reason I enjoy being a patron of the Starbucks downstairs is because the people who work there seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs (either that or they are all fine actors). Today, I got my scone for free because the corner was broken off. Yesterday I got a free drink because earlier in the week, it took them all of three seconds longer to make my drink than usual because the machinery was acting up. Also yesterday, the debit card belonging to the woman in front of me wouldn’t work. She had already ordered and the woman at the counter said not to worry. She is the same woman who always remembers Keifel and me. When I came in the first time without him, she playfully asked me where my bodyguard was.
Customer service, it’s a beautiful thing. Building rapport with regulars? Also a beautiful thing. I won’t be buying much coffee from them next week, as we go back to our regularly scheduled morning routine that does not involve driving the boychick across town every morning. I have a cupboard full of West Indian coffee, including some Blue Mountain, sent from the lovely and amazing Karen. And though I do enjoy their blueberry scones (they never have the maple nut oat scones downstairs, which are really my favorite), homemade granola and low fat yogurt are really better for me. However, that does not mean that I can’t occasionally treat myself to a mocha… or two a week.