The Ottawa Rickshaws Blog

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Don’t Be Closed-Minded: A Local Café Story

Don’t Be Closed-Minded: A Local Café Story


by: Brian Clarke

About a month ago, I wrote an article about local cafés.  I got a response from a friend, asking how “could I possibly leave out Roast’N Brew in the Glebe!?”

Now, despite owning an Ottawa tourism company and running an Ottawa tourism blog, despite living five minutes down Bank Street from this coffee shop, and despite probably walking by it a thousand times, I somehow did not know this place existed.  Talk about the ultimate brain fart.

The closed half of my mind thought “oh well, I’ve never heard of it, it can’t be that good. I’ll just stick with my usual coffee spots.”  But thankfully, the open side of my mind won this time.

I finally tried Roast’N Brew this past weekend.  There wasn’t anything that jumped out at me at first – it seemed like a typical café with a few comfortable chairs, a fireplace, newspapers and a  good menu of reasonably priced coffees, sandwiches and breakfast items.  However, I was very quickly happy I tried something new.

What was that turned me from unnecessary skepticism to approval? Surprisingly, it was my conversation with the barista behind the counter.  The more we spoke, the more he proved that he knew a lot about coffee, and the more I learned.

I think this proves the point that customer service is one of, if not the, most important aspect of a customer’s experience.  Up to this point, my only contact everwith the Roast’N Brew brand was this conversation with the barista.  For many businesses, the first contact customers ever have with them is with the front line customer service.  And first impressions go a long way.  Because of the exceptional service I got, my first impression of Roast’N Brew was that this business knows their coffee. They must be good.

Oh, and I did end up getting a café crème brûlée (side note: there is too many accents in that sentence – it took me longer to type that than the rest of the post combined), and it was delicious!

So, what’s the point of this little story? Brand loyalty is a wonderful thing – we stick with what we are comfortable with and what we know is good. But we can’t be too strict with our loyalty, since you’ll never know when being open-minded will result in getting “wowed” by something new.

Can you think of anytime you tried something new and were instantly “wowed” by a new business, product, service or experience? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.