Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Surprise and Delight

So I am sitting at what has recently become my second office since we went "virtual" and started working from home, Common Groundz, a little coffee shop near my house with free Internet access.  I have become a Wednesday morning regular there the past four weeks with usually a cup of tea and either an Acai Bowl (basically a smoothie in a bowl with the healthy super-antioxidant Acai Berry and granola, bananas and berries) or a toasted bagel with lox. Today was a bagel day and I had settled in for a couple of hours of typing away and was considering how bad I would really be if I got a guava bar or something sweet.  Suddenly, the owner, a very nice Japanese man appeared before me with a plate in his hand. On that plate was a little, steaming, warm chocolate cake surrounded with cream anglaise, raspberries, mint leaves and whipped cream.  "I would like you to try Thanksgiving Pudding!" he said, and handed over the plate.  "I hope you like!"  A few minutes later, he popped back over and put a little flower on it, saying he forgot to put it on the plate. How sweet is that?!  

Working with two restaurant retail brands here in Hawaii, we talk all the time about ways to "surprise and delight" our customers so they come back to our businesses.  This becomes even more important in today's sucky economy where businesses need to do everything they can to keep their customers happy and it is nice to see someone go above and beyond like this. (Especially of course when I get to be the recipient!)

He checked back with me a few minutes later to see how I liked it (can you tell from the picture?!), and explained that he wanted to give his customers a little treat this afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving and he knew I would be gone before then and wanted to give me my dessert now before I left. Smart man!  I probably spend about only $10-$15 a week there in that quiet little cafe but because of the usual friendly service, free internet and the little extras like friendly conversation about my new MacBook and the occasional little surprise and delight treat, I will keep spending it at Common Groundz.  As I told the owner, he really made my day!

Common Groundz Cafe
377 Keahole Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825


  1. How wonderful. Little things like this do more than encourage repeat business as well, they make people's day. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. What a wonderful little surprise! And right up your alley too, how did they know?
    Now, if you could get them to send one of those acai bowls to Canada....

  3. what a great surprise :) Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. Lovely! It really says something about the kindness of strangers and places you want to patronize, doesn't it? I would love to go to your little coffee shop sometime and give them my business too! Someday, if I ever get to own a food place, I think I will do something like this...

  5. Joie de vivre--It really did make my day!

    Natashya--I'll work on it!

    Kat--thanks! you too!

    Micheel--we'll go there! I'll come to your place--little treats or not!

  6. He sounds lovely! It wouldn't really matter what the cake was like with service like that.


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