I do not like coffee. Tell anyone in my family that, and they will laugh at you, because they think I have a coffee addiction. I don’t. If you presented me with a cup of coffee or a cup of turpentine, I’d be more inclined to take a swig of the turpentine. I know what coffee tastes like, and I hate it, so I’d naturally go with that which seems least offensive.
About 2 years ago, I had gastric bypass surgery. One of the things they don’t tell you when you have surgery is that you are going to get cold. As I lost weight, I seemed to also lose the ability to regulate my own body temperature, and was constantly craving hot things to drink – like soups or hot teas. One day, as I was sitting at my keyboard shivering, I happened upon a post on a weight loss surgery support group that pointed out the fact that a Starbucks Latte contains protein – 13 grams or so in a Venti. They went on to say that even if you don’t like coffee much, with the sugar free syrups, you could really make a latte that you might enjoy. So I decided to try.
2 years later, I am a daily visitor to the Starbucks on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. I could go to any number of other Starbucks in the area, but I find the customer service at this particular location to be the standard by which all other Starbucks should set their customer service bar.
I order the same drink virtually every day (sometimes twice on weekends). It’s a Venti (which is the largest size at Starbucks) non-fat latte with 7 pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup. It is the rare occasion that the coffee is wrong. I might get a new barista who misses a pump here or there – and believe it or not, I actually got the drink once with no coffee in it (a latte is a blend of steamed milk and espresso), but for the most part, I can trust that what I order at this particular Starbucks is exactly what I will get.
There are standouts among the baristas there. Sandi is friendly, funny, and never ceases to be cheerful – even when she may not be having a particularly good day herself. Jeannie and Rhianna are both expert baristas, and neither has ever once gotten a drink wrong or forgotten a smile and some pleasant conversation. But overall, the employees there seem to just fit the Starbucks personality perfectly.
In addition to always getting my drink right, they never seem to run out of boxes of chocolate milk – a staple for my daughters, and not always available at most of the other Starbucks we’ve been to. They also almost always have the cheese plate there – and for someone who can’t eat sugar, having this yummy cheese selection as an option while the rest of the people in the car are eating coffee cakes and pastries is a life saver.
You can’t go wrong with this particular Starbucks. They make efforts to get to know their customers, and they go to great lengths to make sure you get your coffee your way. Even if you don’t like coffee.