The Coffee House Diaries

June 21, 2011

This is our first ever diary entry from The Meeting Place on Market. I thought it might be interesting to share what goes on in a gourmet coffee house in downtown Lima, Ohio.

The last couple of weeks have been busy and interesting.  We threw a baby shower for one of the staff who is expecting a baby boy in the fall. She thought she was showing up on a Sunday night for a mandatory staff meeting, and was very shocked when she realized it was a baby shower just for her!

A week ago one of the Lima News editors wrote an insightful editorial about shopping local, using our coffee house as an example. We had no idea he was writing this, so it was a pleasant surprise. “[I'm] wondering if life wouldn’t be a little more colorful if we’d stayed loyal, stayed local and put our hearts and minds before our pocketbooks and lethargy,” said Kiarash Zarezadeh. My eyes have been opened over the last few years regarding where I spend my money – do I spend it at a big box store where the products are made in countries that don’t value human life, and sold at companies that spread their profits out to stockholders around the globe? Or do I spend my money at shops owned locally by my friends and neighbors who in turn, spend their money locally? It’s now worth it to me to spend just a little bit more, if necessary, to know that the employees and suppliers are treated fairly, products are primarily sourced locally, and profits stay in town. We use the same principles when making purchases for the coffee house. The editorial was encouraging to be because I feel the coffee house is always fighting an uphill battle against publically traded companies with national marketing campaigns, who pay less taxes because of tax abatements and other programs, and who may purchase from suppliers with questionable practices.

Side note: Biggby Coffee was upset that they were used as an example of a non-local business in the editorial. To be fair, Biggby is owned by a private company from Michigan, and the franchise owners are local, so more of their profits stay local. On the other hand, the local Starbucks (and many other chain restaurants) are corporate owned by publically traded companies – they primarily use out of town suppliers, and money spent there returns to the stockholders.

Our baker, Mary, recently created gluten-free croutons and bread crumbs that are available for sale.

We just switched over to a new web server, hosted by our rewards company, Rewards Rewards. We now get emails instantaneously and better service. That means we’re almost ready to release our new online ordering software that will allow our customers to order food and drink on the web.

Paula Johnson is now teaching our yoga class on Monday nights, and we recently added belly dancing on Tuesday nights by Andrea Waugh. Andrea was featured in the Lima News a week ago.

We’ve gained a couple customers because of the info on our painted windows. That gives me hope that the hours we spent over Memorial Day weekend painting them were not in vain!

Talk to you again soon…

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2 thoughts on “The Coffee House Diaries”

  1. Hi Meeting Place!
    Nice blog Jen! I agree with you on every point re buying local. A big hello to everyone!
    See you guys soon!
    Later ~ Elaine

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