Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Passing of a Landmark

I woke up at 4:15 this morning and lay in bed thinking about all the things I need to accomplish. Finally at 5 I got up, made myself a cappucino and here I am avoiding that list of things by writing a blog post instead.
Still, something important has happened: Our local Caribou Coffe is closing.
I'm so sad.
I know it's a chain, but it seems like a fairly reputable chain. They are 100% Rainforest Alliance certified -- whatever that means. They give me 50 cents off when I bring in my own cup.
Here we are sitting outside Caribou on New Year's Day.

It's a place we walk to at least once a week.
Caribou is closing because a local restaurant offered twice the rent that Caribou is currently paying. I hate that restaurant. Yes, I resent it because it drove Caribou away, but the two times I've been to that restaurant, bad things happened. Once Earl and I went and he bit into something metal in his food. (I'm not sure why we didn't sue them. Then maybe they wouldn't be able to afford to take over the Caribou space.) The other time I went to the restaurant with a bunch of girlfriends and a waitress spilled an entire Coke down one friend's back. (You remember that don't you, Stephanie?) To apologize, they offered her a cellophane wrapped cookie rather than offering to pick up her check. This place obviously has no people skills.
Even before we moved here, I spent a lot of time in Caribou. That's where I started retreating in the early mornings with my laptop. I wrote my first two books tucked into a corner at Caribou, sitting on the hard wooden bench, listening to the whirr of the coffee bean grinder.
I can still taste the creme horn pastry that I used to buy as my fingers tapped away, creating characters like the homeschool mom Annie who sold her minivan and ran away to Europe with her three kids. Or the two women, Jess and Andi who decided hiking the Appalachian trail was the best diet plan they could find.
I love the open ceiling that shows duct work painted a dark rust orange. The floors are green concrete except for a raised wooden section in the middle. The decor is Craftsman style, which is the style of the house we ended up buying when we moved closer. Not that we bought here just to be closer to Caribou.
Earl and I had many date nights at Caribou. It was one of the attractions that first brought us to this little town. And my friend Sheila and I have met at Caribou more times than I can count. We settle into leather arm chairs and lament the price of motherhood.
So the closing Caribou leaves a gap. Sure, there are other coffee shops nearby, but this Caribou felt like a community.
Oh Caribou, we hardly knew ye...


Sheila said...

I still can't believe it. I guess until May we'll have to try out some of the other coffee shops around our small town. I still have never been to Luck Bros. And Stauff's is a local small business...

Paulita said...

Yeah, but they don't make good mochas. Good plan coffee, but who wants that?

Just Me said...

Sorry about your loss, I feel the same way when a place I frequent disappears from my daily world.

And I feel tremendous guilt when I stop going to a place (due to no fault of the establishment)that was part of my daily or weekly routine.
Miss you Tommy's Pizza !

Anna Clark said...

So sorry to hear that your local Caribou Coffee shop closed!

You commented that you were not sure what "100% Rainforest Alliance Certified" means.

Rainforest Alliance certification is your assurance that coffee comes from responsibly managed farms that protect workers and wildlife alike. Certified farms curb deforestation, conserve soil and water, reduce waste, minimize use of agro-chemicals and provide habitat for wildlife. Further, workers benefit from just wages, safe work conditions, respectable housing and access to healthcare and education for their children.

So by purchasing coffee that bears the Rainforest Alliance Certified green frog seal – like Caribou – you’re playing a part in protecting the environment and improving the livelihoods of coffee farming communities! And Caribou Coffee was actually the first major US coffeehouse to source 100% of its coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms!



judi said...

*sad face*

Linda said...

I hate it when something like that happens. Money always seems to be part of change that is usually bad. A lovely flower shop is closed in a neighborhood I like because a hotel is taking over the whole building.

aguja said...

Oh. This is so sad. I hate it when a cherished place disappears ... and more so when it is greed that is the perpetrator. I, too, would hate that restaurant.
Thinking of you and your lost 'Caribou Coffee'.

BFF said...

I has a sad.

Stephanie said...

Oh. That place.

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