On coffee and customer service

You know this already, if you’ve been around for a while: I moved to Chicago in 1998 after graduating from college, and lived there until getting engaged and moving back home to South Bend in 2007. I loved living in Chicago, and one of the things I miss most about it even after all these years is the food. Chicago’s one of the biggest cities in the country, and (especially once you got used to getting around) you could find anything there, and most of them delivered. Thai food at 3 AM? No problem.

South Bend is not like that. Most of South Bend’s restaurants, for better or worse, are regional or national chains. We’ve got some gems sprinkled here and there (Nedderman’s Steak Place, some good teppanyaki, and a really good hole-in-the-wall Venezuelan bistro) but in general if you’re looking for quality cuisine outside of what you would expect to find in a mid-size Midwestern city you’re going to be disappointed.

I found out yesterday that we’ve recently acquired an Ethiopian coffee business. How did I find out? They brought a bunch of free coffee to work, and the secretary emailed everybody that there was free Ethiopian coffee so come get some free Ethiopian coffee, and I wasn’t at work to go get it, so the email just sort of sat there and teased me. Interesting fact: they don’t appear to have a retail footprint, but they’ve got the website, and if you’re local they bring you your coffee. If you aren’t, they’ll still ship for you.

I ordered some coffee yesterday evening at around 6:15 PM. At 6:38 I got an apologetic text message that due to the blizzard taking place outside my coffee would not be delivered that evening. So their usual standards are pizza-delivery speeds, which I feel like isn’t completely necessary for coffee. I replied to make it clear that they could take as long as they needed to; I don’t need someone sliding off the road into a ditch so I can have novel caffeine the next morning.

At any rate, I did get my coffee today, and had a weird moment with the delivery guy when we both realized the other one looked kind of familiar, but it was dark and bloody cold outside and also COVID and neither of us were masked up (side note: “masked” can autocorrect to “naked” if you aren’t careful with your typing, which would have altered the meaning of that sentence somewhat) so we did not stand outside and chatter at each other long enough to figure out where we might have known each other from. Have I consumed coffee yet? No, which might make this post premature, but I figured the whole apologetic about not bringing me coffee during a blizzard thing probably warranted its own post. Plus, dear God, I know better than to have coffee at 8:15 at night, and that’s, like, Folger’s and shit. I assume this is probably going to be a little stronger.

I’ll report back tomorrow, of course.