Coffee culture, the cafe vibe and how well it works in Trinidad and Tobago.
No doubt, the cafe has a vibe. And not just Full Bloom, I'm talking about all cafes. There’s something special about a space that needs people inside of it to even exist, where it’s the people who make it fun, not the space itself.
When we were opening our location on 32 DeVerteuil Street, we all agreed that we wanted somewhere that would feel like a second home to our customers. Somewhere comfortable enough to just show up and potentially meet someone new or bounce up a friend and decide on the spot to sit and have a chat. We basically wanted to build a bar, with no alcohol - a liming spot.
The three stools against the coffee bar was a conscious decision, the way our espresso machine faces the customer was planned, we wanted to encourage conversation both about and around coffee, we wanted our coffee to be served and received with personality and charm, we wanted to provide the perfect canvas, and allow our baristas and customers to paint something beautiful.
Throughout history the coffee shop has been a meeting place, and has managed to be a special one, a meeting place for all regardless of gender, race, sexuality or status (once its good coffee being served of course). I feel as if our cafe is part of a worldwide lineage well over 500 years old, acting as a hub to share thoughts, ideas to inspire and enlighten. But to be honest, what I love the most, is seeing customers locked into a heavy, unfiltered ole talk session.
As our popularity grew, friends and work colleagues made us a meeting point for breakfast before work, or lunch in between to gossip about the day or generally talk $#!& and have a good laugh. This laughter and talk adds so much character to the space, filling empty corners with noise and drowning out our cafe playlist. I love it.
Trini’s can seriously ole talk too, general observations broken down into hilarious and insightful sayings, classic one liners that sum up a situation perfectly and turning any stress into laughter. A strong concentration of the diverse flavours of coffee beans into a small 2oz cup of espresso is the liquid equivalent of summing up your colleagues personal and deep experience simply with “yuh cyah play mas if yuh fraid powder” it's an art form I swear.
Our space only has character because our customers have character, good coffee attracts good people and we have had nothing but good people come through our doors.
Of course our staff plays a huge role in this, and I cannot thank them enough for being so naturally friendly to just about everyone and for just being such interesting human beings to be around. We lucked out, seriously. I think that it’s important to realise that there’s a responsibility for both customers and staff to remember that there are human beings across the bar counter, to be kind and to be patient, and treat every person they meet as an opportunity to learn something new.
I’m looking forward to filling our space with laughter and ole talk again, for now we remain curb-side and take away only, reminiscing on what was, and what it will become.
I hope there will always be a space for ole talk.