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We're visiting my Mom and step-Dad in Nebraska. Generally our trips here consist of spending lots of time just hanging out at their house and chatting with the various family and friends who stop to visit. But it's always fun to go take a drive through town to see what's changed...and what's stayed the same.

Tonight Scott and I had planned to meet some friends for coffee at a coffee house that has evening hours. Only we didn't know it's not open on Monday nights until we drove up to a dark store front. So we made a call, rescheduled for tomorrow night, and just drove around checking out the local scene.

During our swing down "burger lane" we decided to stop at another local coffee establishment that recently opened. We were intrigued because when we were in high school this particular location was a Burger King. A Burger King in which Scott had once flipped burgers. But equally intriguing was the coffee shop itself. Or should I say coffee shop/deli/martini bar/tanning salon/marketing business/car wash/dog wash. Seriously. They do all those things...all in an old Burger King. (Well, technically the car and dog wash facilities are outside and are currently in the final stages of construction...but still housed on the same lot as the Burger King building and under the same business name umbrella.)

It was sorta weird.

I mean I can see coffee shop/deli/martini bar.

Or car and dog wash.

Even coffee shop/tanning salon on a stretch...with tasteful discretion. (Honestly I'm not real interested in enjoying my coffee or lunch or martini knowing there's a naked body laying in the next room. It would be different if the entry to the beds was down a hall or something but no...we watched a guy walk into a room with a bed less than 6 feet from where my latte was being brewed at the main counter.In fact the only thing separate my espresso and his naked butt was a standard 4 inch thick wall.)

I'm not saying one can't combine business interests. I've had a long time dream of owning a coffee shop and quilt store. (Jen and I's dream business venture.) Or even an coffee shop and used book store. (Of course with my business partner Marie.) Or a coffee shop and flower store. (Sara, I think we could pull that one off!) But just because a little diversity is a good thing, doesn't necessarily mean more is better.

It also seems somewhat counter productive to me to have your marketing business mixed in with all those other things. I thought marketing was about highlighting what makes you special. What makes you stand out. What you do better than your competition. How the hell are you suppose to help people brand who they are when you can't figure out who you are yourself? I mean I can see maybe renovating a space to share...but separate entrances, separate signage might help clarify your product a bit. I mean I'm no marketing guru but...

Any who...

As we were waiting for our coffees we were checking out the menus...both food (I was actually eying the desserts) and drinks. I couldn't help but snap a picture of the beer menu...

I was unaware Boulevard from KC, Fat Tire from Colorado, and Sam Adams from Boston were now considered imports. Tho sometimes coming home, a place that has changed so much yet NOT in 15 years, really does feel like visiting a foreign country. Maybe we should have suggested an alternative title. Like Premium Beers. (Or in my opinion...the only beers on this menu worth drinking.)

I'm sorry to say our coffees (my latte, Scott's mocha) were far from worthy of our stop. In fact it was the worst latte I've ever had outside of those hideous "cappuccino" machines you find at gas stations. (Of which at least provide SOME flavor...something more than "hot paper cup" taste. My old little home espresso machine I had in college made better lattes than that!) I'm all for supporting local businesses (and actually passed up stopping at a Caribou Coffee which I LOVE)...except when they are bad at what they do.

I guess maybe it's a good thing they've decided to diversify...



Anonymous said…
I feel compelled to pass this critique along to the owners, anonymously!

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