Besides art, I have a great passion coffee. Do you? I also value small business. I come from a tradition of family-owned and run business and know intimately how these shops are the life blood of any community. So, can we talk about the current coffee culture?
I want to know, have we become a drive-through coffee culture? The lines are backed up in the Starbucks drive-thru and other coffee franchises, while independent coffee shops from across the way with gourmet bakery and wonderful coffee sit by watching, trying to survive the pandemic.
We love our morning Joe, but what are we doing? Certainly, the pandemic and lock-downs had something to do with this switch to “stay in our cars” behavior. If we enjoyed lounging at the coffee shop pre-pandemic, we stayed home and social distanced this past year. Now things are opening up, and for the best coffee shops which have survived this past terrible year, don’t we want to support these independent businesses so they can continue on?
I know a coffee shop owner who also has a bakery. Her delectable items aren’t prepackaged and shipped in from a warehouse. Her goodies don’t have 80 unpronounceable ingredients including chemical additives. At my favorite coffee shop, the Corner Coffee Shoppe in Wilsonville, the baked goods are made fresh daily. The food items look and taste wonderful, and they’re made with 6 to 8 recognizable natural ingredients, as healthy as you can get! In fact, the owner is a creative baker who is constantly experimenting and developing new recipes, delighting her customers with the best combination of aromatic morning brew and sweet breads. You can bring home the best fresh sour dough in the Pacific Northwest to enjoy with dinner. What else? While you’re getting your order, you can visit with your neighbors in line (while still wearing masks and social distancing).
I see the lines at Starbucks, and I get it. Some people don’t want to get out of their cars. They are in a hurry, or are they? Will we continue to shop and consume in isolation?
My hope is we still value local businesses and connections with our community that happen in these wonderful spaces like the Corner Coffee Shoppe in Wilsonville enough so that we support them with our regular and frequent patronage. These independent businesses add color, flavor, and personality to our world. We don’t want them to disappear.
What will it take for you to get out of your car and walk back into a great independent coffee shop in your area?