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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Biggby Coffee on Marsh Road - An Okemos' Hot Spot
I have been going to Biggby Coffee on Marsh Road in Okemos for about 9 years since I live close by. I had always noticed it is a bit of a hot spot for everyone, single or otherwise, to run in a grab a coffee and look over the other coffee drinkers - a bit of a singles hot spot.
And even when I'm traveling incognito and trying not to meet someone, I enjoy being able to go there and chat with friends getting coffee. It has improved a number of my holidays since on several Memorial Days, Labor Days, July 4, or any other holidays when it has been open, I appreciate having part of my daily routine in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Being a creature of habit, a quick trip to grab a cuppa java and a short chat with a friend I run into improves the whole holiday for me.
Today as I stepped in, I had to stop a minute before going up to the counter while one of the baristas asked me if I could wait until he took the picture of a small group of merry travelers who had stopped in. Actually it was two couples who looked to be around mid 40's to 50 somethings and a few friends. They looked like they may have just dropped off children to start at MSU, they were that happy, beaming and laughing.
"Just a minute... photo op," he said, and I stepped to the side while he clicked away at the giggling group who posed as he said "Cheese".
It is owned by Jane and Joseph O'Connor, who must have a terrific in-house hospitality training program. I called one day and got her on the phone for something else. Since I had a golden opportunity, I asked Jane what she was doing to train her staff so well. She laughed and said she didn't know. I told her whenever I come into get my iced soy latte, from the moment I hit the door, the staff practically stands at attention ready to execute my every desire. The first couple times it happened, starting last January or February, I was startled, then I caught on to the fact that someone over there really stepped up the hospitality training. I must admit, it feels great to have someone who actually cares what I want, other than my cat, who takes me with a grain of salt.
I usually just stop in for a moment and grab an iced soy latte, but it has become a moment in my day I look forward to. Before the gas and economic crisis and the demise of the auto industry made their mark on Michigan, it seemed that it was the hot spot for singles to meet, or at least get a chance to buzz in and grab a quick look around at who else is there. Maybe I just don't get there at the same time I used to, but it seems that may have calmed down.
Its been a busy place since it has become a popular spot for friends and groups to meet and talk from early in the morning until the late afternoon. The coffee is always good and the service is getting even better. The tins of tea always intrigue me, especially the one with Lavender in the tea, or the hot cinnamon and spice. I occasionally buy a travel cup or a mug or some unique tea. In the cooler weather, the fireplace has given me hours of warmth when I sit in front of it and drift off into my my thoughts while watching the flames.
The outdoor tables are under one of my favorite pine trees in the area, although it told me today, when I was practicing my Celtic art of talking to trees (I'm Irish, Scottish, and Welsh) that it might like to be pruned of a few dead branches. I won't say it answers all my questions right away, but I stop back regularly to see if it gives me anymore insights. It has a different take on things than the old Willow trees at Ferguson Park that were there from the time when Chief Okemos held pow wow's with area war chiefs. The Native Americans have a lot of good things to say about the energy of trees and from what I can tell, they're all true. Even the poet Rilke gave the trees a starring role in one of his poems with the line,"and I, whispering away above you like a Linden bough."
Ah, I digress, but I did warn you that I'm Irish, so that bardic tradition is to be expected and anyway, Biggby's Coffee shop gives me hours of pleasure when I take my laptop and wax eloquent and get lost in my writing in front of the fireplace or out on the table under the pine tree. May its coffee shop tradition continue and may it ever be so.
Biggby Coffee (formerly Beaners Coffee) located at 4756 Marsh Rd
I talked to Jane O'Connor today and she pruned the trees! That is the kind of owner she is! Jane you and your team ROCK!
i was in that store last friday and had a mixed experiece.
the guy who greeted us seemed half asleep, a bit of a dud, but then a guy in a white shirt came out from the back and it was like somebody turned on the lights in the store.
he had brown hair, a little long, and glasses, and I think I caugt that his name was nate. very friendly and energetic, seemed genuinely interested in what me and my wife were up to.
kudos to him, he deserves a raise!
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