April 2, 2015 by Scott Howard
For #ThrowbackThursday purposes, I’m starting with a story about my Dad in the 1990’s. Between 1995 and 1997, I was a divorced Dad living about an hour away from my parents. If I came to town on a weekday, and it was about 11am, I knew exactly where to find my Dad.
A doughnut shop on North Anthony. He’d be there with our neighbor Bill and a few others that gathered there every single day for an endless cup of coffee and an occasional pastry. My mom wasn’t there, this was my Dad’s time. I’d always be greeted by the old retired folks, 4 or 5 of them sitting around talking about the latest news and telling the same old stories. They’d greet me as, “Scotty”, since some of them knew me from when I was a little kid 30 years ago.
The doughnut shop is long gone from that location on North Anthony in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and several restaurants have come and gone from that spot including one that has caught on and is doing a brisk breakfast and lunch business.
It wasn’t the coffee that made the place special. It was the social gathering that was going on.
Long before Facebook or it’s predecessor, MySpace made us think Social was something that occurred online, we were social face to face.
Monday I visited a coffee shop on the west side of Fort Wayne that I only visit once or twice a month. The social scene was going on all around me. Sure there were plenty of people like myself on a laptop but there were also others sitting around having conversations face to face.
Some were doing business, some were talking about their weekend. I overheard more than one conversation where “word of mouth marketing” was occurring as a few women were talking about their dentists and at another table a real estate agent was given a glowing recommendation.
As a marketing and advertising guy, I had to mention that. Mr/Ms Business person, people are talking about you whether you know it or not. I can help you become more “talk-worthy”, just reach out to me and we’ll set up a time to meet.
There was also a bunch of retired folks perched on the high stools around the counter having the same conversations that my Dad and his friends had 20 years ago, except instead of a cup of coffee and a doughnut for a buck, they spent 2 bucks for just a coffee.