So, my small town is getting another coffee house.
That makes a grand total of two.
What usually happens with restaurants around here is that when one opens, everyone scurries around to try the new place, the clientele winds up divided between the two for a while, and then one or both of them close.
The old coffee house–by old, I mean not quite two years old–is a franchise from a regional chain.
The new coffee house is an independently owned establishment run by a Starbucks-trained retiree. (It happens to be in close proximity to a 100 year old bakery which serves coffee, and scratch do(ugh)nuts the size of your head. Not sure how relevant that is.)
The community, for what it’s worth, tends to be an army coffee and scratch donuts kind of a town. But that could be because the bakery is open in time for the farm report. Not much that would say independent coffee house, but not much that says chain store, either.
I am not a fan of the regional chain, although they do thaw out a fairly decent cranberry-orange scone.
The independent place? Well… they seem to have their money on whole-bean coffee, and sell several single origin varieties. Unfortunately, the only one of those that sounds like it’s going to be available in cups is… uhm… French Roast. (The menu swears that’s a single-origin.) And several (I pause to throw up in my mouth a little) flavored coffees.
So, as usual in a town that has more restaurants, bars, and coffee houses than it can possibly support, the question is this: Who lives and who dies?