Community=trust, or is it the other way around?

So, I roll into my new favorite wi-fi enabled coffee office, and as I am about to order I see that they don’t take credit cards yet, and I know I have no cash, and the nearest cash machine will charge me more than the cost of a cup a joe to give me my own money. And the nearest Wamu-Chase joint is a 15-minute bike ride away.

So, as I am thinking about all this, the woman at the counter, who turns out to be one of the owners, sees the look on my face and says, “no cash, eh?” And then she asks me if I wanna do an IOU? She says, “you look familiar”.

So, I am kind of blown away, because you definitely don’t get this anymore. I’ll be honest, i really liked this place anyway. It doesn’t hurt that the coffee is really good, as are the oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies and shortbread squares, the vibe is cool, the wi-fi is provided without an attitude, minimum purchase requirement, or sideways glance like you’re stealing something.

But now, they have a totally loyal customer for life.  This is a down economy, and the restaurant business is tough in the best of times. This place is still new and could probably stand to see more cash flow. So, it is really gratifying to see people expressing trust and building community. One might argue that this is just smart business, and I would not disagree. I just think it is not all that common these days. So, you know, come get some coffee and a pastry. Bring cash.