Starbucks is not just a coffee house - it’s a way of life. Each Starbucks location serves, on average, over 500 customers per day. They’re located in over 40 countries and are currently the leading coffee retailer in the world. Starbucks lovers are dedicated and loyal customers. The thing about Starbucks though, is it has taken “coffee shop” to a commercial level. If you’ve been in one Starbucks, you’ve been in them all. Of course there are varying degrees of customer service, drink taste and store décor but they’re all generally the same.
Coffee houses used to be a place where people would gather to meet new people and discuss politics and education, along with other current issues. They were a place for quiet, for an escape or to read a book. Each coffee house was unique and had it’s own special quirk. With Starbucks being such a dominating corporation, it’s lost the comfort and quaintness of a local coffee shop.
Here in Rohnert Park however, there are quite a few local coffee houses that do their best to embrace the old-timey coffee house feel. One of those places is Honey Badger Coffee House. It’s a small businesslocated on Golf Course Drive. It’s a slightlyfarther drive from campus compared to the ever-convenient Starbucks across the street, but it’s worth the drive.
The smell of coffee beans fills the spacious store. The seating is a long bench with many tables and chairs. The benches and chairs all have floral cushions to keep your bum comfy while you work. The place is light and has plants throughout giving life to the inside. A guitar in the corner is availablefor anyone to play. They also have a small kids corner with children’s toys. An outdoor patiohas a view of the golf course and some nice shade. It was quiet inside with only a few patrons chatting. The music is soft and calming - playing what has now become known as “coffee house music” which consists of indie and acoustic songs.
Inside of the Starbucks, the walls are dark which gives a less welcoming feeling. There are tons of tables and chairs, but good luck finding an open table. Laptops are out and headphones are in. Not many people are socializing; it’s more about using the free Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi is reliable though, and that’s important if you are going to get work done. Businessmen and women zoom in and out on their breaks. The energy of the Starbucks is more fast-paced and focused. Another important part about coffee houses, besides the coffee, are the snacks. At Starbucks they have a variety of delicious baked goods to choose from – for a price.
They have prepackaged sandwiches, salads, cheese, fruit and vegetable combos. The cake-pops are also a crowd favorite.
At Honey Badger, they have a much more limited selection of goodies, but they are all freshly made. They have bagels, breakfast sandwiches, a Green Burrito and a ham and cheese croissant. Their prices however, are just as steep as Starbucks’.
Now as for the coffee, this topic is really to each their own. It’s all about preference.
When deciding which coffee house to go to, the most important question to keep in mind is the purpose. If students aregoing to get a quick coffee before class, or are just looking to get out of the house/dorm while they finish that paper due tomorrow, even though it’s already 8 p.m., Starbucks is probably the more appropriate choice.
If they’relooking to go somewhere with friends where you can talk and enjoy a nice beverage in a friendly environment, then I would suggest heading over to Honey Badger’s.