Thursday 30 April 2015

Coffee Shops

 I’ve been going to donut shops for donuts and coffee my entire adult life. I went to donut shops when I was a teenager with the munchies after a concert or a movie. I’m sure that my mom and dad took me to donut shops every now and then for a donut with sprinkles as a child while they rethought the whole decision about parenting. I know something about donut shops.

I liked it when donut shops sold donuts, muffins, coffee, tea and soft drinks. I liked it best when donut shops sold only donuts, muffins, coffee, tea and soft drinks. You would go into the store, tell the clerk what kind of donut you wanted and what you wanted to drink. You would pay and they would put a donut on a plate and the coffee in a porcelain mug right in front of you. There would be sugar on the counter within reach of everyone sitting down, cream and serviettes. You would enjoy your break and be on your way. Time elapsed about twenty minutes from the minute you walked in till you walked out. Sometimes, we would sit talking through several cups of coffee and an hour or so would pass. No one cared. It was a civilized time.

Things started going downhill when bagels were introduced. Bagels took longer to prepare, needing to be toasted, buttered, sometimes cream cheesed and wrapped in paper. I suppose that coffee shop owners realized that their profit would go up if they gave the customers more selections to go with their coffees. Next to come were the fancy flavoured coffees and those iced coffee drinks that women find so very refreshing while they are wandering up and down the supermarket aisles in their flip flops. Soups and sandwiches! Soups and sandwiches were the next invaders and yet more time was taken to prepare them, causing line ups to order and pay. Line ups!

Who lines up for coffee? Yep, I do now. The coffee is much the same but now the people who are in line ahead of me have to look at the overhead menu to decide what they want to order. They couldn’t make up their minds while waiting in line for five minutes; it had to wait until they were talking to the counter clerk. Foolish people! Incidentally, the selection of donuts has diminished over the years. There was a time when I couldn’t decide which sugary delight I would treat myself to. Now, I am hard pressed to find anything I actually would like to eat. Oh, and they are half the size they once were! They are even selling the donut holes.

Today I was sitting there, having a coffee and wondered whether it would be cheaper to buy a box of those donut holes or to buy one of those tiny donuts. I looked up to the high tech menu boards to find the price of a donut vs. the donut holes. I waited for the menu board to scroll through all of the selections and realized that it had scrolled through and the price of donuts and the holes weren’t there. What?

I was amazed to say the least. You can find out the price of a toasted bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese, a BLT panini, egg salad sandwich, French vanilla coffee, mushroom soup, sausage breakfast sandwich, breakfast wraps and even hot potato chips, but you can’t find the price for a donut.

I suspect that it won’t be very long before I go to my favourite donut shop and find that they have done away with donuts altogether since they don’t generate enough income. I wonder if I will be around when they stop selling coffee in the coffee shops.

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