More thoughts and explorations… It was on the plane back to Los Angeles that I realized why these trips are important to me. It’s travel, and seeing other coffee bars that keeps me wanting to get better at what I do. It’s the experience I get from being a customer at a new coffee shop that makes me want to tweak aspects of how I am to customers and how we offer our service. In Los Angeles, we are most of the coffee culture. We don’t have other shops to visit, and we certainly lack a barista community outside of the Intelli staff. It’s makes it very difficult to slip outside of our umbrella to take some things in.
One fine example was on Tuesday night we wandered into a bar called Little Branch (which is some-what of speakeasy). We being my girlfriend, Sam, and our friends, Jessamy and Max from Los Angeles. I really couldn’t have asked for better travel buddies.
We struck up conversation with the bar tender and all too quickly mentioned we were from Los Angeles. He immediately asked if we had been to the Varnish, which is another speakeasy-ish bar in downtown Los Angeles. I told him yes, but mentioned that there are a couple places which I think have better cocktails. He immediately shut down on me and gave me a look like I had no idea what I was talking about… Lesson learned. I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I’ve done this (in reference to coffee shops) to customers traveling to Los Angeles from NY, Portland, Minneapolis, and a handful of other places. This is why it’s important to remove myself from my everyday circumstances.
Okay, more to come later today, but I think the farmer’s market and breakfast are calling me…