Or: David and Goliath meet for espresso
Several months ago my husband came home with exciting news. The empty Taco Bell near our house was going to be a Starbucks. This made us ridiculously happy, even though we live a comfortable distance from four—count ‘em four—other Starbucks. Yeah, we’re suburbanites.
Our shiny new coffee store was finished by Christmas. In January I began meeting there twice-monthly with my writing partner Shannon, and quickly learned a few things. First, the sun pours in on the south-facing seating area and keeps it uncomfortably warm. Second, most of the tables are tall, with barstool-style chairs. These are not ideal conditions for an hour-long meeting.
That’s when I made a discovery. While America’s favorite coffee chain was settling into its glass box, a local coffee shop named Revocup had opened just a few yards away. I set out to investigate.
This is the second location for Revocup. The company’s founders are Ethiopian natives on a mission to share their native coffee traditions. They roast a range of single-origin beans for truly fresh coffee and espresso drinks. They also sell coffee beans by the 12-ounce bag.
Here’s the really special thing about Revocup. Having seen first-hand the deteriorating condition of coffee farmers in Ethiopia, the company has chosen to give back. A portion of every sale goes to fight poverty in Ethiopia. They have also proven willing to work with good causes in our community. My first exposure to Revocup beans was a fundraiser for my daughter’s marching band.
Shannon and I found the Revocup dining room more suitable for our meeting. The tables are lower, the temperature cooler, and the whole setup feels more spacious. But I am not entirely discounting good old Starbucks. Last Sunday morning I shattered my coffee pot, and the Starbucks drive-through was a lifesaver. Revocup does not have drive-through service.
To my local readers, I issue this challenge. Try them both, and tell me what you think.
If you don’t live in my neighborhood, answer me this: Local or Starbucks, and why?