Wednesday, April 04, 2007

If I Had a Million Dollars

I'd open a coffeehouse. I'd call it Snowball's Chance Café and the slogan on the door would read "a hell of a cup of coffee." The coffee would be locally roasted. Any food would be prepared fresh daily and would not contain saturated fats. There would always be in-season fruit and vegetables available. Staff would be paid a living wage so they don't have to live on tips. In fact, I would not allow a tip jar.

This would be more than a place to get a cup of coffee, though. There would be free wi-fi for anyone who brings their computer, and two or three limited-use house computers available for customers. The house computers would be in an area filled with all sorts of career information, local free events, and an official BookCrossing Zone. This would be a community gathering place.

I'd have local music as many nights as I could get it. Community groups wanting to spread out and create would always be welcome, and I'd have a photo gallery showcasing their meetings all over the walls. I wouldn't sell handcrafted items, though, since I am rather particular about that sort of stuff, but we would keep contact info for artists on-hand.

What I would sell that isn't coffee or food, though, are postcards. I'd run an art/photography contest twice a year and the winning selections would be made into postcards. I'd encourage people to write.... postcards, letters to friends and families, maybe even letters to political and business leaders. As much as I love the instant gratification of email, putting pen to paper is still an important means of communication.

I even know where I'd open my coffeehouse... in the city, in what is often considered a "bad part of town." I love this section of Pittsburgh because it has so much more character than the neighborhoods with the Starbucks, Crate and Barrels, and Gaps. I would do my homework so I would know how to deal with a business in an economically depressed neighborhood. I'd be active in the community so that I'd have a better chance at holding out against the chains when they do come, because I know they will eventually come to that area of town.

If I had a million dollars...


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Mmm. That might turn into my favorite hangout, too.

So. How do we get you a million bucks for this?

AshleyShea said...

Wow! What a cool dream! I love the encouragement for visitors to write letters/postcards. You could, as free advertising, provide postcards of the coffeehouse with postage already attached. What a better way to get people to visit your place than by receiving a postcard about it from a friend. How fun!

Kelli Gotje said...

You don't need a million dollars do you? If you do you should come to Tasmania. You could start a cafe like that for $50,000.