The transitioning coffee shop …

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So, because my kids are attending camp in Newport Beach, I’ve been working at a tiny coffee shop in Costa Mesa called Coffee Nature.

And, for the first handful of days, it sorta sucked.

Oh, the staff was lovely. The drinks were fine. But, well, it felt stale. Lame. Blah. The music was ridiculously awful; elevator jazz and tunes nobody would ever—like, never, ever, ever—want to listen to for more than five or six seconds. Inside, it’s kinda bland. A book shelf. Sparse walls. Etc.


New owners have arrived. A husband and wife team. I just met Scott Cross. Young guy, warm. He had a crepe sent out to my table, just because—his words—”my staff said you’re cool, and I like having you here.” It’s friggin’ delicious. And  the move—simple, kind—was smart. That’s how you generate, and keep, customers. Warmth. Friendliness. “I’d love to hear your ideas …” It works.

Scott told me his thinking. Extended hours. Funky, surf-themed decor. Top-shelf coffee. Bagels. I offered some suggestions. Like the amazing Freight House Cafe in Mahopac, N.Y., an honor system. Like the amazing J.C. Beans in Dana Point, Cal., a different flavored coffee offering every day. Like the amazing Swirl in New Rochelle, N.Y., couches and live music. Like, eh, Starbucks, discounted refills. He seemed to listen, which was nice.

He’s got himself a loyal customer.

And, I truly believe, a bright future for Coffee Nature …

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