The expression “the pleasures of the table” evokes memories of favorite foods and great times shared with loved ones and friends. Humans have gathered around well garnished tables for millennia. For the past several centuries, we’ve had yet another delightful reason to find companionship, levity and comfort around the table: coffee.
A long-time customer called recently to place her order by phone. Sandy wondered if there might be some technical issue with our website that prevented her from completing the order online, as usual. Technology can be temperamental at times. But when she asked, our customer explained, “I miss speaking with you. Would it be OK if I placed my order by phone for a change, just so we can catch up a bit?” Of course, that was quite alright. Coffee talk around the virtual table.
Back when we had a physical shop, we loved to see our customers stop by for a bag of fresh roasted coffee; always the same beans, year after year. Why change something that works just fine! Most of all, we loved to chat for a moment. Over time, we’d get to know a little bit about our customers’ children, their dreams and hopes, their concerns in changing political climates and always, always, these shared moments around a cup of coffee left all involved with a sense of belonging and happiness. Sandy and customers would talk about their respective grand-children, summer vacations and projects, sharing ideas and finding new perspective in each other’s words. It has been a few years since the brick and mortar Brown & Jenkins shop, but coffee is still the thread that connects us with our community, near and far.
In fact, we often say that “Coffee connects the world,” and this is true in so many ways. Even people who do not know each other personally in everyday life share a chance encounter at coffee shops as they purchase or savor their daily cup. The familiarity of it all is always comforting. All is well with the world when the daily routine presents reliable circumstances; the same faces at 8 am on the way to work, the same people sharing in the unfolding of every day, or the same reliable brew from the kitchen’s coffee maker.
We have the great privilege of offering a product that is intimately linked to lifestyle and comfort for our customers. When we have the pleasure of chatting with one of you on the phone, we are reminded of the many ways in which our lives intersect, and we are reminded of the humanity that lives on beyond the computer screen. That is a gift, and it is also a responsibility.
Another customer recently observed, “You guys have the best customer service! When I call here, I know I am speaking with someone who cares. You don’t rush me. You treat me like a real person. Just wanted you to know I really appreciate that.”
All this to say, Thank you. 2019 will mark our 35th year roasting coffee in Vermont. We’ve met thousands of customers, in person and over the phone. To us, it’s always like gathering around a good cup for a chat. We raise our cup to you!