It all started at a Starbucks.
I looked around.
And thought,
"This Starbucks is different than others I've been to."
That's how the idea of
The Amazing Richmond Coffee Tour
Came to be. 
25 coffee shops around Richmond, Virginia.
I'll tell you what each shop is all about.
Using my favorite strategy tools -
Eavesdropping and observation.

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Starbucks - Robinson St.

This place means business.
Job interviews, freelancers, and work meetings galore.
Seems to be the work-from-home-er's haven.
The guy in front of me coded a website for five hours straight.
He was drinking espresso.
A man talked incredibly loud about his company's Secret Santa scandal. 
He got the side eye from literally everyone.
A style blogger interviewed a designer about the latest trends.
I was wearing the same thing I woke up in.

Caution: Collaboration Zone Ahead
The farmhouse is surrounded by collaborative work spaces, agencies, start-ups, and so on.
So this seems to be the meeting spot. 
I was the only person working alone.
I made the mistake of forgetting my headphones :(
But, that means I got to eavesdrop on a few conversations.
Coworkers held a conference call with a client
About their new year's goals.
And two friends vented about their awful bosses.
It's 9am and I'm staring at a wall of wine.

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Urban Farmhouse


Lamplighter - Morris St. 

Today I feel special.
Because I got a fancy leaf drawn in my latte. 
But my beautiful latte didn't make up for the fact that
This place is a nightmare if you don't like crowds.
Guess that's what you get when it's next to the university.
A young couple grabbed coffee and some food.
"To cure the hangover," They said.
I don't know about you,
But my hangover cure is not coffee and a muffin.
Today I did a little designing for my site.
But my next door neighbor would not stop
Peeking over my shoulder.
So I left.

Join me in song. To the tune of Hello by Adele. 
Hello. It's me.
The idiot that sat next to the door that keeps on opening
When it's only.... 18 degrees.
I wish I'd brought a warm blanket or a personal space heater.
Hello. Do you see me?
Shivering inside this tiny place that doesn't serve my drink.
What am I supposed to order now?
I've forgotten how it felt before the world of vanilla lattes.
There's such a difference, 
Between plain coffee and a vanilla dream.
Hello from the other side.
Should I ditch this place and find
A new place to work that can make a latte,
And isn't so cold I feel like I'm dead.

WPA Bakery

Starbucks - Carytown

Oh, snow days.
I really loved them as a kid.
But something I never noticed until now.
Snow days
Really piss parents off.
And for some reason,
These parents dealt with their anger
By bringing their children to Starbucks.
Zoom in on the picture to see a father
Gazing off into the abyss
Wishing it was not a snow day. 

There's something about this place
That bothers me to the core.
The food is fabulous.
The juice is grand.
I think it's the people
That make me cringe.
The tone of voice that goes along with,
"Can I get an acai bowl?"
As they pronounce acai completely wrong.
I feel like I'm back in San Francisco.
But who am I to judge,
Because I ordered a La Croix
To go along with my latte.


The Pit and The Peel


Sugar & Twine

While I was there (for 2 hours)
I ran into 5 fellow students.
Which is not why we go to coffee shops.
We go to coffee shops
To be out of Brandcenter.
And away from each other. 
It was so crowded
I had to crawl on my hands and knees
Under this lady
To plug in my computer
While apologizing profusely.
I left
To be at home alone. 

I went here today because
I was considering the VMFA for my wedding.
But the lady told me I'd need to have the ceremony
At the Confederate Museum.
She told me this,
Knowing full well
That my fiancé's family is from Mexico.
I told her, "Oh no, we won't be doing that."
She asked, "Why, aren't they from Mexico?"
"Why would the Confederate Museum bother them?"
She must not be very aware. 


This project is ongoing. I'm going to new coffee shops every week. Check back soon for more!