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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Monday, July 11, 2005


A confession and a dream

I have a confession to make: Sometimes I drive a 15 mile round trip to get a cup of coffee. Yes, it's true. Right now Mike is reading this and cringing since that cup of coffee probably works out to be something like $10 or more once you factor in gas and the cost of driving the car. I don't know the price since I don't feel like doing the math. I'd rather live in ignorance because I don't want a reason to stop this bad habit of mine. You see, once in awhile, perhaps once a week, I'm in the car with the kids and they're both asleep and we're on our way home from an outing or a playgroup and instead of going home and me trying to transfer two sleeping kids from the car to their beds without waking them up, I simply decide to keep driving. So I drive down 280 to South San Francisco and get a coffee at the world's most mom-friendly coffee shop. Why is this coffee shop so mom-friendly? Because it's a DRIVE-THRU!! I never have to leave my car. I get my coffee and the kids get their naps. This 15 mile round trip satisfies most every need in my life. I'm making myself happy while making my kids happy. In my book, that cup of coffee is worth every dollar. Oh, and by cup of coffee I mean 20 ounce non-fat decaf latte.

I also have a dream: I want to open one of these drive-thru coffee shops closer to my home. It's true, for the first time in my life I'm actually thinking about opening my own business. It's a strange feeling; I've always considered myself a company gal. Maybe the fact that I'm now a housewife and stay-at-home mom has led me to consider a new way of thinking. I never thought I'd be a housewife or a stay-at-home mom either yet here I am managing a household, changing diapers, and making dinners for a family of four. Wild.

The franchise is called Caffino. I checked out their online franchise application, but I have zero qualifications for running, let alone owning, a coffee shop. I am a great buyer of coffee, but I know next to nothing about making coffee or managing employees or running a business. All things the Caffino people would like me to know before they consider selling me a franchise. At this point I have to ask myself how serious I am about this venture. It's one thing to blow hot air all over the place, but quite another to actually formulate a plan and then act on it. If I'm serious about this, I should get some real-world coffee-making experience. In other words I should go work at my local Starbucks. I also should take a class at our local junior college or adult school about owning and running a business.

Will I do these things? I'll keep you advised. And if you have any practical advice for me I'd love to hear it.