When boyfriend and I were doing some shopping recently we decided it’d be nice to go for coffee and pastries. Trouble is, we couldn’t decide on where to go and then all the places we tried were tiny and full up. Hungry and getting annoyed we looked at the chain coffee place across the street. “Let’s just go there, there’re seats” boyfriend said. The next words triggered the desire to write this post, and consider my love for pastries and independent coffee shops.
Those words were “pastries are pastries. They’re the same everywhere”.
I kid you not, pastry lovers. He actually said that. Thing is boyfriend would definitely class himself amongst the pastry loving gang. But he certainly has a thing or two to learn about the appropriate pastries and independent coffee shops relationship.
Pastries are not just pastries
For me a pastry is a treat, something decadent and that makes you feel really good. It might not technically be good for you, but it counts as a giant act of self-love in my book.
The ideal place to eat a pastry (if it’s not in your own home) is in a comfy armchair or sofa, drinking good quality coffee under low-level cosy lighting with a great ambience. It normally doesn’t include strip lighting and a table that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in days. Basically it’s a cute independent coffee shop. But let’s get one thing straight I am not talking about a trendy hipster place with too loud music and uncomfortable seating.
A pastry must be made with love
I like to know that my pastry is made by someone who loves making delicious baked goods that make other people happy. Not mass produced by a corporation only concerned with profit margins. These pastries tend to be stale, this is because they haven’t been made with love (plus they’ve been left out too long).
Independent coffee shops against capitalism?
There are too many brightly lit, dirty, loud, chain coffee places staffed by people who don’t care because they’re underpaid. I will admit there is sometimes a need for these places, but there are not enough places run with love, by people who really care and want to make people happy.
The culprit is capitalism, as with so many things. A small, local coffee shop starts doing really well and decides to franchise the place. Soon enough the brand has spread world-wide and the original soul that made the place so good has gone. Would all small, independently run, coffee shops go this route given the chance? I really hope not.
Conclusion: seek out independent coffee shops (if you can get a seat)
Of course everyone wants to make money, we all do, but we need more places whose main concern is the service offered to their customers. Where the pastries are made with love and taste better for it. Tomorrow I plan to go into my home town (where I am for Christmas) and have a cup of coffee, maybe even a pastry. I’ll seek out an independent coffee shop. Trouble is, will I get a seat?