Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gloria Jean Knows AM~Erica's Name

So anyway...

Raise your hands if you know where the practice of yelling, "NORM!" came from. *raises hand*

And why did they yell Norm's name when he walked in? He was a regular at the Cheers bar, and they knew his name. And even though he could never pay off the tab he'd been working on for years, they always served him & enjoyed his company. They liked him being there.

If you haven't figured out, I love my coffee. I do...I really, Really, REALLY do! And I have been to several establishments to purchase a cup of coffee, foo-foo or not, to consume. Some are good, some are not-so-good. But I ponder the fact that I have been drawn to one particular establishment. And my draw to it extends back to my newly-post high school days.

Remember back in the 80's & early 90's when some of us were considered mall rats? *raises hand* I had the hair-goddess, lion-mane hair & would go with my friends to invade Claire's, Spencer Gifts & the food court. And going to check out new trends in the stores was a MUST! Maybe even work in a silly photo booth session, and possibly a movie. Those were the days! But I must blame, I mean "give credit", to my friend Renae for introducing me to iced mocha on the Country Club Plaza during my senior year. And that was it!

In the time since then, I was usually at Ward Parkway mall (back when it was a whole mall) since the draw to Bannister Mall was sadly dwindling. (RIP, Bannister Mall) So, I would shop frequently with my good pal, Nikki. And we would often go into the Gloria Jean's establishment to get some kind of coffee concoction. We started getting to know the manager there because she would start to remember us. But it's hard to forget a couple of crazy chics when one of them is albino. But we started getting to know Pam. Then life began to happen; Nikki & I started hanging out less & stopping by Gloria Jean's to get our coffee from Pam. We quit going. For years.

I eventually got a job about a block from Ward Parkway mall & started going there again nearly everyday. Pam was still there & actually remembered me! We started chatting & I would get my coffee. Then a guy named Dave started coming in, too. We were quite a trio talking there almost everyday & entertaining the customers coming in for their coffee, too. I even started spending some days with my (now author) friend, Shanna. She blames me, I mean "gives me credit", for her addiction to frozen coffee just from out frequent visits there.

I got laid off from my job & slowed going. Ward Parkway was dwindling & became less of a mall. Gloria Jean's closed. I had to go back over to Bannister if I was to see my friend Pam & sometimes Dave would show up, too. But that shop closed along with the whole mall. No more Gloria Jean's for a long time...that was over 10 years ago.

In the meantime, we have had local coffee shop coffee & Starbuck's. But it was never the same for me. Not just the taste of the coffee, but the ambiance. I didn't have the "NORM" moments. My hubby & I were in the realm of "general patrons". Until recently...

In December, hubby & I decided to delve into the world of grinding our own coffee beans! And that's what we did. So, off to bean testing: from store brands, to local coffee shop blends, we tried Gloria Jean's. We were most pleased with what they had & how it tasted. So we go weekly into the Gloria Jean's establishment at the mall near us. One of the baristas learned my name since I'm on the coffee club list. *Coffee Snob* Now, when I walk in the door, she yells, "ERICA WILLIAMS!" It doesn't matter how crowded the shop is. Another barista has started learning our habits, too. We have a coffee bean blend rotation...and they are learning it. They will even have a 2-5 minute conversation with each other about us coming in & arguing about what bean is up in the rotation before we can even say hi to them. It's awesome!

They have even gotten to the point they are trying to remember hubby's name. When he walks in, they yell, "MR. WILLIAMS!" Yeah...they don't have his first name down...yet...

So, if you are ever at Independence Center on Friday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon or evening, you may see Morgan & Mercedes (M&M, aka "Two Blondes & a Coffee Shop"). Go say hi, get a drink & tell them Erica Williams sent you.

Cuz...(sing with me)...
"...sometimes you wanna go
where everybody knows your na-a-a-ame
(bum, bum, bum-bum)
and their always glad you ca-a-a-ame!
(bum, bum, bum-bum)"

(Are you singing, too?)

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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