I stopped by a store located at Grand River and Hagadorn Roads in East Lansing.....we call it Store #4. This store is close to my heart because it was our first franchise location sold. It's about 2 miles from the original cafe...but the funny thing is, although it was the first franchise sold it wasn't the first one open....that goes to a location in Okemos, out by the freeway.
The original owner of store #4 was an employee of ours named Seth Berg....he was a student and he worked at the first location, when we started franchising in 1999 he was first in line. I have to take my hat off to some of those early franchisees....they signed up with a concept that had a total of two locations (not the world's biggest chain), but they believed in it, and they were the beginning of the franchise momentum we have today.
Anyway back to the store....steady, steady business....one customer right after another. It's real mixed at this location, students, local residents, and business people all hanging out together (I love it).
There is a really dynamic thing going on at this cafe....Amanda who I just met for the first time is co-runnning the joint with another manager....and she is quite bubbly and enaging....she's not afraid to be in charge either. She is working with Nathan, and between the two of them they seem to know everybody! I guess they would have to, just to keep up with the traffic coming through the store. A little trick (if you don't already know it), baristas, like these guys, remember customers and their drinks, it's personal, and also it let's them get the jump on makin' the drinks.
Both these guys go to school (MSU), one is in prelaw the other is a dietician....boy thats admirable, having the gumption to work and go to school at the same time. Speaking as somebody who has done it....it ain't easy!
Sheesh, I gotta sign off and let somebody else sit down....it's crankin in here.
Thursday, February 21, 2008