I have posted before that I frequent coffee shops every morning but Sundays. I have done this for many many years. As you read this post I am either at my normal early morning coffee shop with friends in my home town or have already been. For the previous 7 days I have been traveling and have frequented the local Starbucks. The same one at the same time each morning. I looked about for a small locally owned coffee shop but was not successful in finding one. The reason there are no small ones in the area is probably because we are staying in “Yuppieville” as Phil from Duck Dynasty would more than likely say. The area is very nice and clean and sterile and almost perfect in appearance. But these aren’t the main characteristics of a good coffee shop in my estimation.
There is just something missing in the flavor of the atmosphere in this Starbucks compared to the tucked away mom and pop places catering to the mainly non-hurried locals. Although to be fair, I do enjoy Starbuck’s coffee. My favorite roast is the “Blonde”. Shhhhh, Please don’t tell my local coffee shop this tidbit.
A truly great coffee shop is lively with people involved with others. Folks involved with laughter, jokes being told, perhaps “gossip”, maybe a few “lies”, news being discussed, and a myriad of other topics. Personal involvement is the key ingredient – human to human. For the past few weeks in my regular place I have had a five year old boy running a race across the building. He got new shoes and you know you can always run faster in new shoes when you are young. Plus, it’s a way for him to earn an extra half dollar for the effort.
In my 5 straight days being in the Starbucks I was not able to strike up a single conversation. I’m known as a cordial person and have never had a problem getting to know people. “Good mornings” were spoken to those around me and I received a few back. Several had headsets on so naturally my greeting went unheard.
I’m not exactly sure why the problem. I have been a stranger in many coffee shops in different locales. I almost always have been invited to the locals table so that they can find out about me. We have new people come into my regular place and before they walk out we usually have struck some type of conversation.
A lot of it is probably being on the west coast in a major area. People seemed to be in a big hurry to get in and get out. I think I may need to talk with Culturemonk about this. He is probably the number 1 coffee shop blogger on WordPress. He surely could offer me some insights into this.
I don’t want to blame this on Starbucks either. As soon as I leave my local coffee shop I usually drive 6 miles to Starbucks and get me a cuppa “Blonde” roast, and I am greeted either by my name or “the gardener guy”.
It sure is good to be back home, but it sure was great to visit the “kids”.