What would you change?

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed the pros and cons of the current queue system at the Lyon Village Peet’s Coffee.  Since then, a few of us (namely, Sac-Eats and RonTopOfIt, and I) have conjured up our ideas for improving the process flow at Peet’s, including sketching out how we’d change up the store to make it more customer friendly during the very busy parts of the day. Here’s how we could change the entire store: 

  1. Picture the store as though it has nothing in it. 
  2. OK, now add a new entry door in the angled area where the cream & sugar counter is now.  The existing door would stay.
  3. Walk in that new door.
  4. The bean counter will be directly to your left, and it will be set back further than where the cash register counter is now.
  5. Directly ahead of you will be where you order DRIP COFFEE ONLY.
  6. Ahead of you and to the right is where you will order espresso drinks.
  7. Between the drip and espresso counters will be the baked goods case.
  8. Perpendicular to the baked goods case (but with a 6′ buffer of floorspace) will be a long, two-sided counter for cream, sugar, and lids.
  9. Retail items (teapots, shirts, etc.) will be moved to the corner near the bean counter.  Many items will be display only with the inventory in the back room.
  10. The tall counter where people can sit facing Fair Oaks Boulevard will be gone, and in its place would be large roll-up doors similar to those at Capital Garage and Riverside Clubhouse that would be opened during nice weather.  This would open up the space more and allow customer spill-over into the outside patio area.

Taking it a step further, Peet’s could buy Scandia Down out of their lease. (Who shops there anyway?) Peet’s could expand into their space.  Scandia Down could move to where that record store was. 

Sac-Eats agreed that Miyagi and Grebitus & Sons could stay, but we’d also move some of the other boutiques.  He suggests moving Noah’s Bagels from Loehmann’s Plaza to Lyon Village, and why not put in a Naia Gelato place (still can’t get the links to work on my machine, so visit http://www.gelaterianaia.com/) that would stay open late.  Naia could have a small Peet’s counter in it too.  Miyagi’s bar could stay open late.  This would turn Lyon Village into a destination, rather than the “grab and dash” (I just made that up) shopping center it is now.

While shopping at Home Depot (Emigh Hardware is far superior, but they don’t carry everything), I saw a guy wearing an official looking Peet’s Coffee jacket, and I was so sad I didn’t have my “architectural renderings” with me (poorly drawn lines on scratch paper.)

What are some of your retail daydreams?

14 thoughts on “What would you change?”

  1. I love Peets. Love it. And I was EXTREMELY ENTHUSIASTIC just over a year ago, when a new Peets location popped up in Folsom, right next to my MIL’s neighborhood. Bad news though folks, it’s already closing for business. They haven’t announced it yet, but, well, I am making a personal prediction. It is inevitable. Why you ask? Well, unlike the highly acclaimed, even if sometimes extremely busy Lyon Plaza version where employees are friendly and kind, pastries are glazed with love and friendship, when you step outside you can actually whistle and have a bluejay land on your finger, every person that works at the Folsom store is an absolute idiot. Now I like my angsty barista as much as the next guy, but when she actually heavily sighs at the guy in front of me because he ordered three drinks, the ‘tude turns from kitschy to rude. On a recent visit TWO people in front of me left because it was taking so long, and when I finally got my coffee it was so old and bitter it was undrinkable. (Positive Note: one think I really like about Peet’s is their ginormous coffee pots, no “Can you wait five minutes while we brew some fresh?” like the idiots at Starbucks on the average morning!). Long story longer, my Peet’s dream right now is that they transplant some decent employees from one of their other stores (Alhambra Safeway Shopping center, Lyons Plaza, San Ramon) to the Folsom store to show them how it is done.


  2. I’ve been to that location and I second that emotion, CSI.

    Speaking of waiting five minutes, I’ve had to wait for a new pot the last two times I’ve been to Peet’s at Lyon Village. While I wonder why they don’t have an alert system to prevent these situations, I’m always quickly offered a free cup o’ joe and/or a card for a future free beverage of my liking. That has yet to happen at the other guy’s coffee house.

    And, runnergirl, we are seriously nerding this place up with the HGTV’ing of our favorite coffee joint.

    Speaking of, who wants to Flip That House with me?


  3. I take great pride in nerding the place up — it’s a favorite hobby of mine. At least I don’t carry around a Sharpie to correct misspelled words on signs and menus (yet.)

    The main cash register at Peet’s was broken this morning, so everyone had to order at the bean counter. Plus, they were out of decaf, so I had to wait, and they forgot about me. Michi (the red-headed girl) finally asked what I’d ordered since I’d been waiting the longest, and she was very apologetic. It sounds like they could use her diplomacy skills up in Folsom.


  4. I meant (nerding the place…) the Sac Rag, runnergirl, but yeah, Peet’s, too.

    Maybe I’ll start a thread about ideas on renovating local hot spots.


  5. Did you nerd up Noah’s across the street? I like their new layout … seems to work much better, once the regulars learned the line forms to the right of the counter, not the left.

    But hey, I like your idea of moving all the fooderies to Lyon Center.


  6. If you are heading downtown I would bypass Pete’s competely and go to Coffee Works instead, if you want good coffee. I support your choice to go to Pete’s over Starbucks though, as a former coffee roaster (for Coffee Works, teehee) I’ve never understood why Starbucks roasts EVERYTHING to a full city roast (Just shy of a French Roast, to about 475 degrees)at that point you are tasting the roast more than the coffee (probably the point). At coffee works we roasted all of our small plantation varietals light (Except for a rare few that tasted better a little darker)At coffee works you can actually appreciate, and easily differentiate an Indonesian coffee from say and American coffee. And CW’s signature taste, in my mind, was the Ethiopian Harrar used in a lot of there blends..so good. And if Steve still works morning, you could not ask for a nicer barista..period. I came over from Weatherstone where we were all surly service ninjas. (Warranted in my mind due to all the crap we had to deal with on top of the McDonald’s management style and minimum wage.) On busy Saturday mornings we would see how long we could go without speaking while on the register, I would usually slowly turn up the Musak “Jazz” station every 5 minutes until the line was out the door and the Musak was ear piercing. Funny thing about Weatherstone, we could abuse the customers all day everyday yet they kept coming back, waiting in huge lines, blasted with Musak, paying for the pleasure. And yes, I saw loogy lattes. I never did that, my style leaned towards secretly switching people to decaf, burning the milk, or using used grounds for espresso shots. So I would be nice lest the barista has a bottle of visine with your name on it.
    P.S. – I never saw any of these things at coffee Works, the clientele was surprisingly respectful and John was a generous boss.


  7. When downtown, you might also visit Chicory Coffee & Tea at 11th & L since they have all kinds of goodness going on. It’s also locally owned.

    FauxPaws: No, I did not nerd up Noah’s, but I’m glad to know the redesign vibes being sent their way were finally implemented.

    RonTopofIt: I thought my role as Chief Nerd on SacRag was established a LOOONG time ago. (Anyone want to go headgear-a-headgear over this title?)


  8. Mark, Steve must NOT work there still because the few times I’ve been there in the last year the bike shop factor was in full force. Yes, the coffee was tasty, but man they enjoy them some judging.

    FP, I was just in Noah’s this weekend and you are spot on. It is hard to catch on to the straight line thing. I think we as consumers are so used to being cattle prodded along via a line divider.

    While the aloof-a-thon was strong there as well, I must admit I enjoyed watching the cashier point to each coffee label and read it aloud after being asked if all the coffee was the same (basically the gentleman didn’t notice the labels ABOVE the coffee).


  9. RonTopofit:
    I’d be really surprised (and upset) if Steve no longer works at Coffee Works. He was a lifer, even lived in the house behind CW. He was a very kind man and a joy to work with. But, Coffee Works had/has (I left town 8 years ago so this is not very current info)over 100 wholesale accounts so there should be a place serving Coffee Works coffee near you. The wholesale kept the coffee rediculously fresh. Some things I had to roast everyday such as the varietals and dark roasts used in there blends. Even the $25 a pound Kona (We bought 2 bags of a total 100 bag crop from a small plantation) only hung around for 2 weeks, I would roast really small batches of certain things.
    CSI Sac – As surly as we were at Weatherstone, we never would have begrudged somebody for ordering 3 drinks or even 10 drinks unless they were jerks about it, cuz the line of drinks is never-ending so it really doesn’t matter if it’s his of 3 seperate orders.
    How to Order:
    1. Talking on a cell phone while ordering deserves the same amount of respect in kind. I’d be afraid to do it.
    2. Never enter a line unless you know what you are going to order, if you insist and make it to the register before you are ready, step competely out of the line while you decide.
    3. We are listening to you. We relay complex orders all day. It is very common for people to insist they ordered a vanilla shot or a double when they did not. I’m still not sure if this is a scam to save 50 cents or they are just idiots. You really don’t want that drink re-made or altered. Trust me.
    4. Don’t ask for extra stamps on you coffee card for “times you forgot it.”
    5. Specifically, If you are John McCrea, you better tip you cheap bastard. (I had the pleasure of embarassing that guy over this in SanFrancisco YEARS after the fact.)


  10. Try Temple on 10th between J and K.
    I love coffee, and am a regular at Pete’s on 19th, but Temple has, hands down, the best coffee I’ve ever tasted (and espresso, and tea. They’re cookies aren’t bad either.)

    I do frequent coffee works, and I really like the employees there, but I don’t really care for their coffee. It’s an “it’ll do” cup at best.


  11. KLJ-
    If I find myself in Sacramento and in need of coffee I will check out Temple. I find it really hard to believe that Coffee Works has slid in quality so far as to be just an “it’ll do cup.” Why do you bother to go there if you do not like their coffee? Again, it’s been years but when I was roaster we bought the best green we could get our hands on from very small plantations. But, bottom line, these things are a matter of personal taste. After all, lots of people prefer the taste of Robusta!!!


  12. I go there because it’s blocks from my work, and like I said, it’ll do.
    We all eat and drink thing that are less than our favorites when we’re not able to get to our favorites yes? I don’t think it’s that unusual.

    And your right, it’s subjective of course. I find their coffee has a tarry flavor, even the lighter roasts, and I’m a fan of darker roasts normally. I don’t think it’s where the beans come from that is the problem, but rather how they’re roasted.
    I like the coffee at Petes better, and at Temple even more so.

    Let me say again, their employees are the greatest bunch you could hope for.


  13. Next time I am in Sac I will have to check out Coffee Works. The Problem would likely be in the brewing not the roasting. After they have a round table cupping on a new coffee/estate and sample roast a few small batches a specific temperature is decided for that coffee, usually between 450 and 465 degrees. Roasting the coffee will only involve setting that temperature and keeping the beans moving/avoiding chamber fires. The fire shuts off automatically when the beans reach that temperature and the beans are misted with water to stop the roasting process, pretty fool-proof.
    I am relieved to hear that Coffee Works is still able to find and keep a friendly staff, and that earlier reports on this board were wrong.


  14. My retail dream would be to have Peets offer Mac n Cheese with their coffee. I know it’s weird..but I always crave Mac n Cheese with my coffee. [but not with flavored coffee]

    Maybe I could blame it on menopause?


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