And the Grande Goes to…

Weather and schedules permitting, my neighbor and I get up in the wee hours for a Img_4956morning walk to a coffee shop.  Only two on Alki are open that early on our route and they happen to be "major chains".  After a mile of bravely walking along Beach Drive to Alki past the speeding morning dare devil drivers who’s only concern is for punching the clock and little towards your safety, we feel pretty proud and perky (could it just be the frigid temperatures?) by the time we reach our half way point and reward for our journey.  Here’s how our walking adventure began last summer….

Day 1.  On the first morning, we witnessed on such speeding morning driver wipe out someone’s cat on Alki in front of "Big Brand Coffee".    They didn’t even slow down or stop.    My neighbor, who’s alias on BDB is Cat Woman, and I were mortified as she tried to save the poor pet.   There was nothing we could do.   We went inside and notified who appeared to be the manager and who honestly did not seem to care.  A police officer went outside to put the body in a plastic bag and left it by the telephone pole in front of the coffee shop.   Cat Woman and I assumed that animal control had been called since the Police Officer informed the manager the animal was in front of their establishment.

Day 2.   In front of Emma Schmitz View Point, we see a dead otter in the street.  Dare Devil Driver strikes again.  This was nearly the end of our morning walks.    We reach our half way point prize of a hot latte disheartened to see the white body bag of the cat is still in front of the coffee shop.   We talk to the same stone faced manager and we ask if she’ll call Animal Control.  She nods and pushes our coffee to us.  We notice she warms right up to a few other clients who appear to be "regulars".    Grant it, we (at least I) are probably quite a sight in the morning with our fleece hats and layers of clothes…we’re certainly not dolled up as we’re dressed with only warmth in mind.   

Day 3.   The dead cat in the bag is still there.   Did I mention this is summer time and we were having 80 degree days?   Cat Woman and I are appalled.   We go into the coffee shop and address the manager again who claims she did call Animal Control.   She pushes our beverages towards us and warmly greats her next client.    We’re in disbelief.   That day I call Animal Control and guess what,  no report was ever filed.  In fact, you cannot file a report over the phone, it must be done on the web.   Good news though…on our third day of walking, we did not witness any road kill. 

Day 4.   We decide we’ve had enough coffee served with the cup of attitude and walked a whole block and a half further to Tully’s on Alki.    I don’t know what they’re serving in the employee cooler but everyone there is happy!   They have welcomed us in the morning with warm smiles just about every day.   

We have never turned back.   Tully’s is our preferred double tall vendor.    In fact, I purchase gift cards to send to my clients when they celebrate birthdays and I now go there to buy them instead of "big brand coffee".     We figure at $7.00 a day (I’ll estimate 4 days a week since we don’t do weekends and weather might cause us to retreat); our business is worth approx. $1400 a year (not factoring in the gift cards I buy, which add up to another $500 easy).    A little shot of attitude (good or bad) adds up!

We tip our cups to Tully’s for outstanding service with a smile…word is they’re going public.    Cheers!

Side note:  I’m sure there are many pleasant wonderful people who work for both major coffee chains.   This is just our experience from last summer.   I have added two categories:  reviews and opinions for Beach Drive Blog.


  1. Max and I prefer Tullys. I like the taste of their coffee better and the vibe is a bit mellower. The only problem for me is Big Brand has Top Pot Donuts which I consider sublime on Sunday mornings with black coffee. Yes, one can like a donut this much! David says he prefers Tullys when it used to be Taco Time…

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