(Friday – April 18, 2014)

starbucksI am sitting at the island in my kitchen staring at the cup of Starbucks I just picked up, wondering “what will I write about today?” What do my readers want to hear about? While in the car I imagine doing pieces about the average, but interesting, people I meet. Are the citizens I run into, in the course of my travels, really that interesting? Do they want to hear about Sal, the rep at Bethpage Federal Credit Union, who took care of me today in closing my account? I doubt it!

So what interests them? What do they want to read about? I gaze deeper at my Grande drip of Pike Place, recalling that when Starbucks first introduced it, I did not care for it and now, it is my daily staple. Strange, how our tastes change. Coffee, particularly Starbucks, is one of my daily pleasures. I love the coffee, but even more, I love the Starbucks experience.

Practically every day, sometime between 12 and 2, I shoot out from my house to the Starbucks store about a mile and a half down South Woods Road. It’s like going into the “Cheers” bar where everyone knows your name. Besides my coffee, I get a lot of friendly social interaction from the staff – Rich or Adam (the store manager) often has my brew ready by the time I reach the register to pay. I feel like a VIP! I use my smart phone app to pay; with every 12 cups of coffee, I get a free beverage (reward) of my choice.

And then there are the “usual suspects,” the other customers I may know, who also patronize the Woodbury Starbucks; like Todd and Neil who I ran into yesterday. Both are in sales and are road warriors always on the hunt to grab some Joe, free WIFI and an occasional chat. For me, I value the respite and opportunity to talk for a while about whatever may be going on with me. Todd often has some interesting job search strategies and Neil can hardly lift his head from his tablet – when he does, his smile is ear to ear. The seating area is like a large living room with big picture windows overlooking the parking lot – This place gives our new age remote online distributive world a unique sense of community.

My usual coffee is $2.12, which comes to $12.72 a week or a little more than $660 a year. Seems a bit expensive compared to brewing at home, but when you factor in the social aspects and community connection, it’s priceless! I hear rumors that Starbucks is considering offering wine in some markets. Works for me – I think I will look into buying Starbucks stock next week.