Photo of the Week:Be an Indie!

While on vacation in Brenham, TX, Heidi and I hunted down the ever elusive Independence Coffee Co. It used to be about 5 miles from my father’s home, but was moved to a larger location heading out on US 290 from downtown Brenham. Also, it’s next to the bowling alley. They have a sign for it, but you need a magnifying glass to read it, especially driving at 55 mph. But we did find it and were able to pick up some of their Laughing Donkey coffee, which is their espresso roast.

The reason it so hard to find the coffee shop is because they are constructing a new building. Until it is complete, they are in a warehouse behind the new building, behind the bowling alley and next to the druggie motel. Don’t let the druggie motel scare you. We visited at about 2 p.m. and most of the druggies were still asleep.

Turns out that Rebekah, who was helping us, is a former Starbuck’s barista and shift manager. She and Heidi hit is off, given that both of them sport that adjective “former” in relationship to Starbucks. Both of them had the same problem with the coffee chain. To many unrealistic demands on selling coffee without enough training or support in the store. In other words, the bean counters, not coffee beans mind you, but accountants have taken over Starbucks. Remember that Starbucks use to be a store where they prided themselves on getting to know their customers. Not any more. Those days are gone. It’s all about drive-through times, and getting some sort of drink in the customers hands, regardless of whether or not the drink is the one the customer ordered.

Heidi was not only a barista, but an 8-year veteran and a trainer for the store. Starbucks is no longer training their employees. When Heidi started for Starbucks, she was given two weeks of training. Now, most employees are given 12 hours with a trainer, and several hours on a computer. However, most employees are thrown on the floor with less than that because there are not enough labor hours to train them. So if your last drink from Starbucks was wrong, get use to it. Starbucks knows that you will be back, buying the wrong drink, because it’s “Starbucks.”

But enough about the giant chain. Now is the time to find independent coffee stores, specifically Independence Coffee Co. in Brenham, TX. The store has a fine reputation for excellent roasts, to the point that they have had to expand, as you gathered from my comments above. Given that, why don’t you check out their website here, and order a few pounds. They will have something you like.

Full disclaimer: Independence Coffee Co. is not in any way, shape or form paying me for my support. In fact, they may not even want my support. I just wanted to share the photos I took, and promote a local coffee selling business besides Starbucks, and Independence Coffee is worthy of that promotion.