Fresh Press Coffee Bar (Richmond)

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(Photo taken on a Sunday morning, a day the store is closed)

I’m going to call it as I see it. That’s how I am.

The first (and only) time I stepped foot into Fresh Press Coffee Bar, I was not impressed. The lady (whom I assume is the owner) had a very cold voice when speaking to me asking what I wanted to order.

I was surprised because I assumed she would be friendlier. Of course, after taking my order, she turned to her friend (who was a customer) and spoke to her in a warm tone – and they were essentially gossiping about weddings and their husbands.

When my order was ready – it was Peppermint tea – she used a cold voice to announce it was ready.

She, her friend, and I were the only people in the shop at that particular time. I sat down and began working on a writing project. In the meantime, the two were chatting about wedding-related stuff. Girl talk.

And… the friend got up to leave, and just at that moment, a gentleman came in. He, like me, was a new customer. A first-timer. With the friend gone, she was very friendly with the new customer. (Geez, where was that friendly service when I was at the counter?)

Because of the size of the shop, whatever they were saying was very audible. She was admiring his accent and inquired which part of Europe he was from. Don’t get me wrong – she was very charming with this customer. But with me, it was coldness. She told him – and I could hear all this as I was typing away at my computer – that she was interested in knowing what her customers drank.

Hmm – again, where was this when I was ordering?

So, they had a conversation – a lengthy one – and she was asking about his family background, his life coming over to North America, etc. Okay, I get it that she is friendly with customers – and perhaps I might have gotten that treatment had her friend not been there.

But come on… I was also a first-time customer and received poor treatment, if you compared the two visits (mine and the other guy’s).  She was intrigued with him because of his European accent. Yet, if she was as observant as she claimed to be, didn’t she notice I was carrying two phones, a computer, and a digital voice recorder?

So, I assumed she came across journalists or freelance writers every day?

Anyway, gossiping with her friend was annoying, but this different type of treatment was just as horrible – if not worse – considering first impressions are important.

I guess she would prefer that a customer such as me wouldn’t be back.

Just telling it the way I experienced it.

I didn’t stay long; I was in there for 20 minutes max, as I had an appointment in the area right at 4pm and I was there just after 3:30. I later asked a colleague about this place – and he acknowledged to me that the lady there was very chatty – and weird. So, that meant my colleague received the same treatment as the European man.

I guess I’m just not welcomed.

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