Thanks for the joke, Jamie

It was a quiet moment at the coffee shop. There was a group of four, sitting at the corner table, chatting, having a good time while waiting for their coffees.

The first one was served – a café latté. The customer, a young woman, frowns …

Faking it

First impressions. They’re so powerful. In seconds we think we know whether we’re going to like or dislike someone we see for the first time. Or somewhere.

One less rule

We used to have a rule. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We had two prices for coffees, one for in-house and another – about 10% less – for take-away. It wasn’t something I invented myself …

From one cup to another

Before The Stray Bean, there was La Bonneterie de Saint Louis. If you don’t know what a “Bonneterie” is, you’re in good company. I think about half the French people I’ve ever mentioned that word to don’t know either. I only knew …

Our very expensive marketing strategy

I’ve just completed an in-depth study into The Stray Bean’s marketing strategy. The main finding is this : the amount we’ve spent on advertising since 2017 is precisely 90,13€ per year. Including social media.

Not The Office

Soon after coming to France, well before The Stray Bean saw the light of day, I found myself working for a company in their offices just on the edge of Paris. Nice work environment. Comfortable, air-conditioned, carpeted, clean, modern, fully-equipped offices with lifts that worked, ergonomic chairs and a cantine that served up decent three-course hot meals for lunch every day. Nothing to complain about at all. Was there?

To be or not to be … a coffee purist

I remember clearly the first specialty coffee espresso I ever had. It was at St ALi in South Melbourne, a place that’s not far off being world famous in coffee shop circles. My cousin, who was in the green coffee importing business and a coffee festival judge at the time, had taken me there.