Sunday, July 27, 2008

Starbucks is to Paradigm as to Walmart is to...

I haven't felt such disappointment in this city since the day I went to the city clerk's office with my papers and check in-hand to acquire an application for a beer and wine license; was met with the statement "Even if we were to grant you a license, it would be ripped out of your little hands in six months due to violations."

Today. The Reader's Choice Awards were posted in the Sheboygan Press. As a business owner I look forward to the competition and the 'audience participation' of the event. Knowing that we weren't in the winning spot for the best cup of coffee, I expected to see our sincerely respected predecessor... The Weather Center or maybe my former employer Z Spot.

What I saw was Starbucks; A corporate giant. Three have opened in our city of barely 60,000 in the past three years. By no means will I deny that their existence has made our need for a gourmet cup of coffee a commodity. They've come a long way from their humble beginnings... they've moved from the neighborhood hot-spot brimming with warmth, character, quality and consciousness to McDonald's answer to the local drive-in. Factory. Sterile. Corporate.

What happened to the appreciation for "Family owned and Operated"? What part of McDonalds (won best french fries) is 'Sheboygan'... a truck pulls up to the back door and unloads boxes of prepared(cut, sprayed with beef stock) and frozen potatoes... from... Factory X in... ?

One of my favorite customers just said it right: "We vote with our wallet."

Thank you to all the folks out there who think twice about where they will spend their buck. We whole heartedly appreciate every one of you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sunburns are healing and life is good... You may have noticed that Mondays are void of Paradigm goodness... but don't dispair... those precious hours are time well spent at Paradigm's very own vegetable garden... we're growing ALL of our own produce this year... granted... we're a little behind in the season due to the rains and more rain... it thinned our crops a bit but what's there is wonderful and we keep planting and weeding and weeding and weeding... and then we eat ice cream and life is good.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Get There by bike.

You might have noticed the pile of bikes by our back door. You might be one of the folks that asked... 'What's up with all the bikes?'

Well... we ride them... some are in need of a little work... from last season's midnight rides and whiskey runs... but they're all claimed... and have a claim to fame.

Its true that my first inkling to run something of my own... was born of the Northeast corner of the 'little barn' ... bike frames and chain-less ten speeds strung up in the coolest fashion... crates of parts on rickety storage racks... it housed my phases of the sweetest patched up bikes to whimsical wind chimes of spokes and sprockets... I've yet to stray too far from my original ideals of the sweetest thing... the hours of ... wouldn't it be sweet if...