Mag's Coffee's Inspiring Story

We would like to take this time to show our support to Mag's Coffee in Clarksville. Husband and wife, Ken and Maggie Bradford have a real life inspiring story to tell about their small cafe located in Clarksville, TN that got hit hard by the floods this past month. Here is a great story about their perseverance through it all.

"Our adventure began with a rag-tag little building on the corner,
and we began tearing out walls and practically removing every piece of wall material inside the building. Maggie has always been excited about the whole thing.

We decided to dedicate part of this property to our Mom's, neither of whom are with us anymore. The flower bed directly in front of the building was dedicated to Maggie's mom (Mille Linton), so we just named it "Millie's Garden". Closer to the street, we dedicated a small flower bed to my mom (Alma Bradford), thus "Alma's Rose". These pictures are the original flower beds (pre-flood).

Obviously, after being under water mixed with gasoline, most of the flowers did not survive. I feel it kind of ironic that the daylilies did survive and are now blooming. You see, the daylilies actually belonged to Maggie's mom in Houston, TX. I dug them from her yard many years ago and brought them to Tennessee. Somehow, we just thought that she was with us and wanted us to know that things would get better if we just kept on trying. All of the other flowers have been replaced and the beds look good again. Just yesterday, one of the city workers drove into our parking lot and told me that seeing those flowers back again was an inspiration to him. He said that the flowers told him that we are not defeated and everyone enjoys this one bright spot on a street of total destruction.

You must realize that even though we had 30 inches of water inside our building, some businesses had 8 feet of water inside theirs. A member of the Chamber of Commerce told Maggie that approximately half of the businesses on Riverside Dr. would probably not re-open. We haven't gotten the national news like the oil spill or Tiger Woods, but people are hurting down here.

I felt somewhat selfish about working only on our building and not helping other business owners with their disasters and told Maggie that we just had to do something. A couple of weeks ago I took the grill down to the shop and with the help of Maggie, Ashley, Dana and some others, we prepared some 220 meals and delivered them to the workers along Riverside Dr. That really wasn't much, but I guess it was something. By the way, my grill was stolen while I was letting it cool off overnight.

After drying out the building, removing the lower half of all the walls, replacing all of the electrical outlets, scrubbing down all of the new equipment that had never even been plugged in, getting our electricity restored (2 weeks), the local codes department informed us that the commode in our brand new handicapped bathroom was off by six inches. Now we had plumbers in our building cutting a giant hole in our ceramic tile flooring, throwing dust all over our freshly painted walls and trim. $2,200 dollars later, our commode had been moved six inches.

It seems that just because we are small that we are being watched under a microscope. We are really scared to do much of anything for fear that codes will require us to re-do.

We erected a partial fence around the front of the property (about 5 feet off Riverside Dr.) to prevent a young child from running into the street. The codes department called and told us to take it down, so we did.
Codes even went so far as to tell Maggie that her flowers were "questionable".

It has definitely been a journey and Maggie really does have a story to tell."

Mag's Coffee has definitely been through a lot, and we look forward to their opening coming soon! They will be serving Vienna Coffee. So if you are ever in the area please stop in and let them know how good their flower beds look, and how inspiring their story is.

Check out "Mag's Coffee" on Facebook.

WEEKLY DEAL: Chicagoland Coffee Tour

As owner, John Clark, drove design/marketing associate (...and daughter), Jamie Clark up to Chicago, he didn't skimp on the opportunity to see the competition in the Windy City.

First on the list of tour stops was Julius Meinl. In Vienna, this was the original Vienna coffee house and where John got his idea of what a Vienna Coffee Company should look like. Granted the Chicago version of the Vienna company is slightly more Americanized, but still has the Vienna classy style. (John and Sue were given the amazing opportunity to go to the real Julius Meinl Cafe in Vienna a couple years ago.)

Second on the tour was Intelligentsia. This coffee company is top class when it comes to their baristas. Last year several of their baristas ranked in the top 10 in regional, national, and international barista competitions while getting 1st place in both regional and national. In fact, the manager of the cafe we went to won 1st place at the Great Lakes regional competition. This cafe was crammed pack with people and interesting industrial artwork.

The final coffee stop was Metropolis. This small batch roaster/coffee house is very eclectic, and is more on the size of VCC. They roast for many local chicago bakeries and coffeehouses, but the coffee shop itself was PACKED, and very interesting artwork all over the walls.

All in all the coffee tour was a success, and John was able to see what is going on the Chicagoland coffee scene.



COFFEE INDUSTRY NEWS: Starbucks net income drops 97%

For news on the coffee industry...

New York Times stated on Nov. 10, 2008, "In a sharp economic downturn, fewer people are in the mood to indulge. On Monday, the chain reported net income dropped 97 percent, capping a turbulent year in which the company tried to get ahead of the economic slowdown by closing stores and laying off employees."

Also, "Starbucks is now slowing the proliferation of its stores, which made it ubiquitous in American cities, but also a source of comedy to many. The company plans to end the 2009 fiscal year with 225 fewer company-owned stores than at the beginning of the year."

For whole story click here.
On a side note, if going to Starbucks each day is getting hard for you, Vienna Coffee Company invites you to make your own specialty drinks at home with our selection of Espresso coffees. We also are a supplier of at home espresso machines. Likewise, supporting the small local coffee shops around you is always a big help to your local economy, especially during the economic downturn!
(These are images of Grounded in Maryville, Tennessee and Brown Cup Coffee Co. in Lenoir City).