My parents became serious MJB coffee drinkers in the 1940s and as I had long observed by the 1950s, were tethered to their shiny chrome coffee percolator.
Mom and Dad loved MJB Coffee. It was not so much the flavor as it was the family myth that MJB Coffee stood for Mighty Joe Boyle Coffee. That was what my dad told me, but then he was Irish and told me a lot of stuff.
Not wanting to be a slave to a coffee maker and not caring for the taste of coffee, I avoided this popular adult beverage for decades.
While I spent huge amounts of time in heavy duty coffee drinking environments such as college, business, and the military, I never took a sip.
Shortly after starting my law enforcement career in 1990, I spotted a new business opening in the Lakewood Mall. It was part of the first Starbucks coffee shop expansion in what would become a string of 21,000 plus coffee shops worldwide.
Being curious, I asked a friend, “What kind of business is Starbucks?” He replied, “Oh, they sell coffee for $3.00 a cup.” With a Batchelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, I thought I was in a strong position to make a credible prognostication. I stated, “At $3.00 a cup Starbucks will not last.” I was crippled by the memory of coffee for 5 cents a cup and free refills at high school classmate, Penny Schmid’s, King’s Drive Inn.
Starbucks is now 46 years old and still sells coffee costing several George Washingtons per cup. It should be obvious to everyone that my business degree failed to enhance my skill as an accurate business prognosticator.
I became a loyal long-term customer visiting Starbucks twice a day for over 24 years.
Sadly, two or three years ago I divorced Starbucks after Howard Shultz’s “Third Place” concept was killed off by his lower level managers.
Howard Schultz brought The Third Place concept from Europe. We spend time at home. We spend time at work. When there is a break in the work day or when the day is done, we can spend time at the Third Place, a great coffee shop, Starbucks.
When you spent time in the Third Place you could enjoy a tasty beverage and morsel, read, study, work, listen to great music, visit with friends or meet new friends. It was like a cocktail bar without the DUI.
Many new Starbucks managers did not grow up inside the original Starbucks culture, but instead transferred from fast food chains such as Burger King, McDonald’s, and Jack-In-The-Box.
Starbucks began to embrace the fast food philosophy of, here’s your coffee and food, now give me the money and get out of my store. Starbucks now qualifies for a potential name change like McBucks or BurgerBucks.
Howard and his management team are now focussed on the second half of his company’s name, Bucks. Owning the stock has never been better. Starbucks’ fast food mentality ushered in uncomfortable seating, poor point of sale counter service, and loud 3rd-rate music. The pastries are both large and tiny. What is large is the price. The actual pastries are so tiny you need a magnifying glass to find them on your plate.
Facing coffee shop divorce and wanting to recapture Howard’s Third Place concept elsewhere, I went coffee-shop speed-dating.
I even considered opening my own coffee shop called The Third Place or Joe’s Java Joint. My coffee shop would have embodied all the positive elements of the third place concept.
As a gift to mankind, I am going to share my Joe Boyle approved coffee shop list.
Each listed coffee shop meets or exceeds my espresso aficionado Joe Boyle standard by embracing my expectations for ambiance, savory beverages, and tasty food along with pleasant baristas and an enjoyable clientele.
COFFEE SHOP CHALLENGE
Two different ways to win.
2nd Prize Winners: Publisher Ben Sclair and Cub Reporter Joe Boyle will award a free 2-beverage gift certificate worth 1709.55 Italian Lira or $10.00 if you are playing the challenge in the U.S., to the first 5 readers who document their visit to any 5 of the 10 listed coffee shop locations.
1st Prize Winners: Publisher Ben Sclair and Cub Reporter Joe Boyle will award a free 2-beverage gift certificate worth 1709.55 Italian Lira or $10.00 if you are playing the challenge in the U.S., to the first 5 readers who document their visit to all 10 of the 10 listed coffee shops.
Plus, 1st prize winners will have the highly coveted opportunity to drink coffee with Suburban Times personalities, Publisher Ben Sclair and Cub Reporter Joe Boyle. The Suburban Times will buy the first round and the winner will be able to leave the coffee shop with no monetary erosion to the full dollar amount of the 1st prize winner gift certificate.
EASY 3-STEP CHALLENGE INSTRUCTIONS
- Take a photo of yourself with each coffee shop sign in the background.
- Tell us which of the 10 Joe Boyle approved coffee shops you choose for your gift certificate.
- Send your complete Coffee Shop Challenge package by email to The Suburban Times (click here) on or before December 31, 2017.
Void where prohibited by law, like maybe Fircrest, that only recently voted out its 1929 vintage alcohol prohibition dry-city ordinance. No double dipping. Winners must choose to play for either the 1st prize or 2nd prize.
10 COFFEE SHOPS APPROVED BY JOE BOYLE – THE SUBURBAN TIMES
- Topside Coffee Cabin: 115 Wilkes St, Suite 102, Steilacoom, WA 98388. T: 253-244-7190. Hours 6:00a – 3:00p.
- Forza: 4828 Bridgeport Way W, Suite D, University Place, WA. T: 253-564-9112.
- Cutters Point: 2700 Bridgeport Way W, University Place 98499. T: 253-565-0335.
- Corina Bakery: 602 Fawcett, Tacoma, WA 98402. T: 253-627-5070.
- Anthem Coffee & Tea – 210 W Pioneer, Puyallup, WA 98371. T: 253-256-8140.
- Anthem Coffee & Tea – 1911 Pacific Av, Tacoma, WA 98402. T: 253-572-9705.
- Espresso Yourself – Fircrest: 1009 Regents Blvd, Fircrest, WA 98466. T: 253-564-3066.
- Caffe’ Capri Italia Coffees – Tacoma: 317 S 72nd St, Tacoma, WA 98408. T: 253-503-3057.
- Valhalla Coffee Shop – 3918 – 6th Av, Tacoma, WA 98406. T: 253-761-5116.
- Metronome Coffee – 3518 – 6th Av, Unit 101, Tacoma, WA 98406. T: 253-301-2375.
And the winners are…