My office is located in the heart of Fremont, a funky artistic neighborhood in Seattle, which also happens to have three very good coffeeshops (Caffe Ladro, Fremont Coffee Company, and e.t.g.) and two half-decent ones (Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee & Tea), all within a four-minute walk. After grabbing a nice hot latté (at Ladro; I’m not exclusive to any of the first three) for this cold, wet winter morning, I came back to my office to find a link to the following great article in my email: “Bitter Brew – I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life.“
Some years ago, my officemates and I tossed around the idea of finding a space that let us have a coffeeshop in front and our working offices in back, but we knew the idea was folly: we’d never leave the front if we expected to actually make money.
Of course, not everyone fails. A long-time Apple employee I know got burnt out writing code and decided to open his own café. When I saw him the next year at Macworld Expo, he confessed that he missed the “slower pace” of his previous 80-hour workweeks. But he’s doing something right: although I haven’t visited the place, Zocalo Coffeehouse in San Leandro, California is not only still in business, but they’ve just undergone a major renovation. Stop by for a cup if you’re in town and tell me how it is!