Alterra, it would seem, actively supports the local business community by providing advertising for them during every customer service transaction. I just enjoyed my second visit to La Coppa gelato, and I admit to having flip-flopped quickly. The main reason is the unbelievable high I felt all day the day after my first visit, which may well be completely unrelated. However, the La Coppa visit was the only thing that was very out of the ordinary about that day.
The huge difference is the service. La Coppa has the exciting buzz of a startup--admittedly, that often proves short-lived. But I actually walked into Alterra to get my second espresso drink in the space of an hour (having just had one at La Coppa), and it was like the guy behind the counter was doing everything in his power to get rid of me. I asked for a medium cappuccino with the espresso of the week, in a mug for here, and he protested that they were only open for another twenty minutes. Then he stated that they were out of the espresso of the week at all locations. They were still advertising the coffee variety, so why not just repurpose other packages of it to use as the espresso of the week? (This happened last week at Bayshore also.)
"You know what? I'll pass," I said. I was thinking "You know what? F*** you." I will gladly take their hint, and now sit at Caribou Coffee, where I received perfectly welcoming service. Due in part to vacations, I worked about 51 hours in 5 days this week (granted, I was just on vacation myself, so I'm not feeling it much.) But why does Alterra treat this location like some remote province where no grownup ever seems to supervise? Do they know how hard people work around here, and how much wealth resides here (um, not referring to myself so much with that last one...)?
A local business can still be off the fucking clueless meter. I'm sick of writing this post, and I'm sure people are sick of reading it. Basically, though, I'm at Bayshore with an hour or two to kick back and relax, and a few bucks in my pocket. Thank God, I'm in a place where whether I spend five bucks or ten doesn't matter too much to me, though it probably should. My time is by far the more valuable commodity. And how many people at Bayshore does that apply to? Like, I dunno, everybody?
I think the fact that the Alterra brand was worth some ginormous amount of money just speaks to how out-of-touch multinational corporations--and some not-so multinational ones--are. I find it hard to understand why Bayshore should be such a slow store for them, at least during the evening. But without having any kind of hard evidence, I feel like Caribou Coffee's location here has really perked up in the last year or so, and Alterra has really...perked down. Again, that's strictly anecdotal, but perhaps still noteworthy.