The magic cafe
I had just moved, and there was a decadent bakery/cafe five minutes away. On foot. Dangerous.
An Angeleno for 20 years, I wasn’t used to being able to walk anywhere. For the last ten+ years I had either lived in the hills or in the woods and going anywhere required at least 15 minutes in the car in either direction.
So the first morning after I had moved, since I didn’t have internet, (and certainly not because of the delicious fresh pastries) I set up shop at one of the tables.
When I went up to order my second cup of coffee I noticed the gelato case was empty. I recognized it as a Nelson, the top of the line manufacturer of these sorts of cases. $6000 new. I knew this because I had been researching freezers for my popsicle company. The trade show wanted $2000 just to rent one to us for 4 days!
“Why is the case empty?”
“The ice cream just wasn’t selling. I’m getting rid of it. I’ll take $1500 for it, and I’ve only used it for a couple of months. It’s brand new.”
Yes! I called my partner and after a little more research on other alternatives, she bought it.
I sat down again and a few minutes later a mom with a toddler and an infant sat down beside me. She was beautiful and only slightly distracted by her toddler. I peppered this one-woman focus group with questions about popsicles, treats, etc and got some good information. Then she asked me what I did for a living. Turns out she has a product, and wants to talk.
Shortly after she left a very well-dressed woman sat down and told me she works for CallSource, a vanity 800# company with analytics. Exactly what I was looking for.
The vibe of this cafe was friendly, the music was quiet, and the clientele was local. There are places like this all over the world, but this one seems to be a vortex of good startup energy.
I was definitely a regular. Until I moved away and found another vortex.