Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Of Coffee, Chocolate, and Carrots?

Friday night we hosted student artists, featuring hand-turned pens and paintings. We arranged to have two of the students set up a lathe and make pens throughout the evening. Actually, these are quite time consuming to make. They were only able to make two of them all night. Come in and see our selection of wood and acrylic handmade pens.

We also had wonderful chocolates on hand by our local organic chocolate maker Dagoba. And, Mix, the coffee and pastry shop down the street, brought over these absolutely unreal chocolate cupcake confections. Everyone kept asking if they were real! Please visit Mix and tell them we sent you (we want more cupcakes)!

New in the shop are recycled faux leather purses and wallets with absolutely adorable designs. These bunnies are ready to hop along with you. Check out our selection on our website www.thecrownjewel.net.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In the Shadow of Starbucks

Our neighbors to the West are a little coffee shop named Starbucks. The people who work there are wonderful! And despite the trend to bash any and all corporations I have little but kind observations of them. I even love their coffee.

But it is a somewhat unique window that I have, being a small business that shares a deck with a Fortune 500 corporation. Once in a while I will interject my observations on what I have learned from this contrast in business styles.

One of the nice things for my business is that almost daily someone will accidentally step into my shop thinking they are going into Starbucks. Yes, I know, the pink door, the oval signs, the sparkly jewelry in the window. But keep in mind that these are people who have not yet had their coffee. So give them some slack. I don't think the people who are in charge of branding at Starbucks would believe how little people pay attention to their logo-- or absence of it-- on the door.

And the reason this accidental tourist is so nice for The Crown Jewel, is that having someone in my door, for whatever reason, usually creates a customer. Maybe not before their first latte, but sometime around when they realize that the buzz of a frappacinno wears off much sooner than the thrill of that ring on their finger. I have sometimes thought our logo would be something like that of Saab: "people who test drive a Saab usually buy one."

People who stumble upon The Crown Jewel usually make it a habit.