16 October 2014

coffee talk.

I think it is time to tell a little story, so here it goes, just a play by play.

Tuesday.  Its a normal Tuesday at River City Eatery.  I leave for about 2 hours after the lunch rush to get some work done, you know, all that small business paperwork, marketing, paying bills, mailing bills, emails, researching recipes, planning events, reaching out to potential catering opportunities, compare food and drink costs, work on web presence, etc.  I come back to then start prepping for round 2, meaning dinner.  Literally, the first thing I noticed after walking into the kitchen was the large McCafe cup laying right on top of the trash.  I'm thinking to myself, what is that doing here? Weird.  And this is when the story gets pretty interesting.  My staff begins to tell me that Mr. Collin Peterson came to eat with some city leaders while I was out.  Cool, right?  I was pretty thrilled to hear he came to River City!  And this is when the story gets even more interesting.  They continue to tell me he ordered a coffee and food with the group he was with and when the server told him it would be about 10 minutes before he could get his specialty coffee because the espresso machine/steamer needed time to regroup (it has been a busy machine since the weather has been cooler), Mr. Peterson and his staff person left the eatery and came back with McCafe in hand to finish his meal.  Wait...what?!

I'm a small businesses owner, nothing really surprises me anymore, I've witnessed a lot of people do some crazy things.  I thought this was worth sharing because I found it kind of funny coming from a politician, and in all honesty, it was a bit frustrating, so I took a picture of the cup and hit post.  I wanted people, not just Mr. Peterson, not just democrates or republicans (it is not about politics FOR ME), but everyone who sees the post to really think about it for a second, you know, what this picture says and means.  It wasn't about calling out a democratic politician to me, I saw it as an opportunity for people to think about not only small businesses, but manners and etiquette, and how the choices we make affect others, you know? 

Next day (Wednesday).  Yeah, wow, I really didn't expect anyone to really care until 15,000 and counting Facebook views later and a phone call in the early evening from Rep. Rod Hamilton asking if its okay if Torrey Westrom comes to buy a cup of coffee tomorrow around 4pm.   And then at 8pm, the phone rings at River City Eatery while I'm mopping the floor after another day at the eatery. 

"River City Eatery, this is Mari," I answer. 

"Yeah, Mari, this is Collin Peterson."

Pause. Pause. Pause. All I could think was, this is a joke, right?   Pause. Pause. Pause (for dramatic effect, the pause felt quite long)

"Yeah, Hi!"

He continues to apologize, he says he didn't know what he was thinking, yada, yada, yada.  The food was really good, yada, yada, yada, the next time he is in town he would love to stop by and get a cup of coffee, yada, yada, yada.

"I really appreciate your apology. Thanks!"

I can respect anyone who has the ability to apologize, and I sure wasn't expecting that, so wow.

Today (Thursday).  Nervous as all get out trying to wrap my brain around what the heck just happened in the last 48 hours and anticipating a visit from Torrey Westrom.  We had a lovely chat, nice guy, small business owner, gets it, and bought some coffee.

And there you have it, a little bit of coffee talk.  The moral of the story...the choices you make, even the small ones, have a great impact on the world around you, choose wisely, my friends, choose wisely and don't forget to shop small and tip your servers.


  1. To be honest, I think it was pretty inappropriate to publicly shame someone because they didn't choose to buy coffee from your restaurant.

    I'm sure you were somewhat personally offended; your post seemed like an emotional knee-jerk response.

    YOU may not think McDonalds makes stellar coffee, and maybe they don't. But sometimes people just want something hot, black, and caffeinated.

    Of course 'buying locally' is a great thing, but I don't think bullying people into making those decisions makes sense.

    1. Let me get this straight...

      A new customer comes in, orders six or so lunches, but can't wait for your coffee machine to be fixed. So, he goes somewhere else for those two cups of coffee?

      So you are upset on losing the $6 worth of coffee (2 x$3/cup) vs $42 worth of lunches (your menu shows prices of $6-8,so I've used the mid-point) plus drinks and maybe desserts)?!? So easily $50-70 of business that you wouldn't of had otherwise?
      Talk about "penny-wse, but pound-foolish."

      Wishing you success on your "Finding Wisdom," but, as a small business owner myself, it appears that you have a ways to go. ;)

    2. You don't go into a bar with your own beer... why is it ok to go into a coffee shop with someone else's coffee? It was a rude slap in the face. It's a business and that person was advertising someone else who is a corporate machine and makes plenty. Help out your locals. If you don't see why it was wrong, then go to McDonalds with one of River City's coffees and watch the looks the employees give you let alone the customers.

  2. "because the espresso machine/steamer needed time to regroup (it has been a busy machine since the weather has been cooler)".......ever thought of getting another machine to meet CUSTOMER demand?

  3. Wow...so this is HER fault? Are you trying to say she is wrong for being bothered by someone bringing in food or drink from elsewhere? Try going into a local bar with a 6 pack of microbrew because that bar doesn't sell it, or take your own food into a busy restaurant because you don't want to wait for them to cook your meal. It's a common courtesy not to bring in outside product, because its how these businesses make their living. I don't have ties to Windom anymore, but my "knee jerk" reaction would be that those of you who posted anonymously have a soft spot for the politician involved and/or are a bit short of common sense and courtesy.

  4. I wish people would READ and understand the article. You seem to react without truly understanding the post, open your minds and try to understand without your own agendas.

  5. I didn't see anywhere in the article that Mc Donalds coffee was inferior, If you want to write your own story, write your own blog anonymous Jess, points well made !