Tag Archives: coffee shop

Sad Farewells

GoodBye! Coffee Mug

We are into the last weekend of business at the coffee shop and it is a bittersweet thing. The owner and I have tearfully planned out the closing activities that will happen on Monday, all the while hoping for a miracle that would allow us to stay open. Alas, it is not to be.

I will miss:

1. My co-workers. I have to say that we have the dream team staff. They are truly awesome. Every one of them. Leigh, Laurie, Jessica, Toren, Jordan, Andreya, Jonny, Jonathan, Casey, and Liz, you guys rock!

2. The cozy atmosphere when it’s cold outside, the fireplace is going full blast inside, and the place is full of conversation and laughter.

3. The best London Fog anywhere in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Really.

4. The smell of fresh bread baking when I walk into the shop every morning.

5. The customers I’ve come to know by name, and even those regulars whose names I don’t know.

6. The folks at Canterbury Coffee who know the true meaning of customer service and a quality product.

7. The Saturday morning JW crowd that always tries to evangelize us and never succeeds. They’ve been good customers anyway.

I won’t miss:

1. The many, many rude and non-paying people who use the coffee shop as a bus stop shelter. We’ll be happy to clean up the mess from your muddy boots for the last time.

2. The people who persist in drawing their graffiti with jiffy markers on the baby change table in the washroom. Seriously, guys. You need meaningful work.

3. Running out of milk on Sunday nights no matter how much we stock up.

4. Getting midnight phone calls from the security company because the employee who closed forgot to set the alarm. It’s not pleasant having to get out of bed and go to the cafe to make sure all is well.

5. Calls from staff who are supposed to start work in twenty minutes but they’ve suddenly realized they are too sick to come in and no one else is available to work.

6. The high school lunch crowd. A dozen or so come in, occupy most of the tables, two or three might buy something, and they leave half an hour later. Our staff is left to pick up their garbage and put the furniture back where it belongs. Every day.

7. The finicky equipment. A dishwasher with a mind of its own. An espresso grinder that powers off at random for no reason. A flash oven that no one can figure out how to use. A wireless router that works occasionally. Satellite radio that doesn’t work at all.

So farewell, Fireside Coffee. It’s been a great run and I’ll miss you.

For a little while.

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Filed under Coffee Shop, Humor

The Coffee Shop Adventure

I am about to embark upon a new adventure. I want to tell you about it, but you have to promise not to roll your eyes, laugh behind my back, or talk about me when you think I can’t hear you. Okay? Thanks.

I am the new manager of our neighbourhood coffee shop.

Yes, it’s true. Really. And I’m pretty sure I heard some chuckling out there, so stop it!

Several weeks ago, the owner of the business (who I’d come to know during my bookstore days) approached me to ask if I’d consider managing on a part time basis. We discussed the expectations and the challenges, and I decided this just might be a good fit for me. I get to boss people around (you’re allowed to laugh now) and I’ve been granted a significant amount of flexibility to implement new ideas.

We like new ideas.

I know, I know. This is very different from anything I’ve ever done before. It’s a far cry from my 30+ years in the banking industry where I did everything from clerical work to management, projects and national consulting. I also cannot compare this to my beloved bookstore which, by the way, is now a dance studio right next door to said coffee shop. And writing? Well . . . I expect there will be ample fodder for future story scenarios churned out from this little venture.

I am excited about seeing lots of familiar faces, meeting a bunch of new ones, and working with an absolutely terrific staff. The fun factor is pretty high! Of course, I’ll have to learn to create a great mocha, the perfect latte, and an exceptional espresso, but they tell me there’s nothing to it.

We’ll see.

So come on down to The Fireside Coffee and I’ll make you something special.

After I know what I’m doing.


Filed under Being Creative, Life, Writing