Monday, April 28, 2014

View from "Le Croissant"

When I first began working in Burlingame about 5 years ago, I would always pop into Calvin's cafe. It is now the last privately operated coffee shop on Burlingame Ave. and has held onto his business despite the introduction of a Starbucks, Pete's and finally, the La Boulange within a block of his shop, "Le Croissant". His method is that he is his business, he and his wife know the name of every customer, their kid's names, their grandkid's names, the family pets etc... He knows because he cares about people and represents the kind of mom and pop businesses that originally built the small town charm that is Burlingame, and countless other suburbs like it.
    Sadly, with property values surpassing the 2007 housing bubble level, rents have gone up, and in his case, the most recent one will likely be what closes his doors. And what will replace him? Another franchise? The city has made a good investment revitalizing the avenue and I believe this is a wise and lasting improvement. But what good will that do if the street ends up resembling an outdoor mall employing a revolving door of people who are not connected to the community in the way a small business owner is?
    Until then, stop by Calvin's while he is still here. He will know your favorite drink, where you work, what you do and offer his food and drinks at a more than fair price.

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