Turn the Page

With Bica’s one year anniversary behind us, it’s on to the next thing. And that thing has been a steady flow of traffic in the store. I wasn’t sure what would happen when school went back. Would things slow, would they pick up, etc.? The answer is that it’s been a steady increase in volume. One of the great benefits of being >365 days old is that I can see a day over day comparison, or “comp”, and the story is positive. It’s so very interesting to have this perspective now. I got into a discussion with my kids last weekend when my daughter asked the question: Dad, is it more important to be able to make a great latte or to be polite and energetic? Hmmmm…..pretty insightful question for an 11-year old, I thought. And of course, it got me thinking. My answer is either both or neither, in other words, they’re equally important. What is most important is the experience that the customer gets. And that is the sum of all parts: the quality of the coffee, the execution of the drink, the smile at the register, the comfort of the space, the crazy music, the lovely flowers, our charming fruit flies (he says angrily…), the clean bathroom (I hope….). It all adds up. And the BicaTeam has made Bica what she is: a relaxing place to get a great cup of coffee with as little hassle as possible.

I am most familiar with Bica’s early morning customers and there are certainly regulars. One is a gentleman who is often with his daughter, probably about a year old. She is adorable, and she is so loved by her father. I never pry, but I must say how very lovely it is to see this little pair every morning and to know that Bica is the place where this guy feels as comfortable as in his own home, having that early morning moment with his little girl. My daughter is my early riser and I love those morning moments when it’s just the two of us. It’s thrilling to know that this little gathering place offers that experience to those two likeminded people.

A new barista has recently joined the BicaTeam, named Alex Grover — we call him Chef Alex because he is a food dude who does personal cheffing. Wanting to round out his coffee knowledge, because it’s a growing gourmet trend, Chef Alex has jumped aboard with zeal! It was recounted to me that earlier this week, an Aussie came in and ordered a capp. Bit of background you might not know: the Aussies claim to be the coffee leaders of the world (roasters / consumers, they don’t grow coffee), and they can be a bit demanding. The comment on Alex’s capp? Best he’d ever had. Way to GO Chef Alex! Your following is beginning! Our tastings on Fridays (International Cupping Hour, 2PM) have become popular events and one of our regulars turns out to be a barista at a local cafe. And now he is likely to take a shift or two at Bica. During a period when we are short on staff (please pass the word: we always need great baristas!), it’s wonderful to think that this guy was moved enough at our tastings, loving our coffees and our vibe, to want to work here.

Tennis is good at the Open, I really hope the four top men’s seeds come through, it would make for a great weekend of watching. My money will be on Djokovic to win it all…..can’t believe that, based on where that guy was about a year ago, what an amazing transformation…..as he says: it’s all in the head! If only the Red Sox could get Djoki’s head! The momentum has been totally lost, pitching is in shambles, hitting a bit anemic, on the wrong end of too many lopsided games, somewhere Paul Clayton is laughing (I know you’re out there, Paul; the Yankees cannot win this year). But, the tennis and baseball are keeping Mom entertained as she rehabs, so that’s great (although she does get a bit angry about the Sox).

Yesterday, we said goodbye to BicaTeamMemberExtraordinaire Justine Hwang. Justine is leaving Bica after many months of dedication to this little store, for the wilds of Colombia for an extended trip. I won’t call it a holiday, I wouldn’t call Justine a tourist. She’s more of the ilk of Tony Bourdain, a traveller. Be safe, Justine, keep those eyes open and soak in as much as you can. You will be sorely missed by ALL of us at Bica.

Back to the grind,

Jake.

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