Cafe du Monde Saves the Coffee
Change. Not always welcome, but inevitable. I usually resist, but am almost always thrilled with the outcome. In this case, it involves coffee – not just any coffee, but our beloved French Market Coffee from New Orleans that we have been serving at our Woodstock Vermont bed and breakfast for the past nine years. This change was in the works for some time.
For many years I would call French Market to order our coffee. A very sweet woman named Michelle would answer, ask me how life is in the village of Woodstock, Vermont, and then take my coffee order. One day Michelle was gone. There was much confusion. Eventually someone on the phone told me that French Market Coffee was sold to Reily Foods, a much bigger company.
Though it was difficult at first, eventually we were assigned a new sales rep. No more sweet conversations with Michelle, but at least we could still get our coffee. That is, until Reily Foods sent us a letter in late August -they would no longer ship us coffee. Not thank you Village Inn of Woodstock for being a loyal customer for nine years, not sorry for the inconvenience, not call us if you have any questions. But, they did give us the name of another supplier, along with the owner’s phone number and e-mail address. Okay, I was a little bit annoyed, but I called the new supplier. The owner answered the phone “hello”, no company name, no introduction. I explained that I’d like to buy coffee. We had a very pleasant conversation, he said that he would send me a price list along with a product listing for everything else that he sells. He asked me to send an e-mail with my contact info. I did that – no response. I followed up with another e-mail – no response. Two more phone calls -neither were returned.
So, French Market is not the most famous coffee in New Orleans. We originally chose French Market just because it is what most of the old line restaurants in New Orleans serve. But, you already know how that story ended.
Enter Cafe Du Monde, the New Orleans institution on Jackson Square. I called them and was immediately transferred to Chris, their wholesale manager. We arranged to meet this past November. It was all quite nice, much like when we first arranged to do business with French Market. A small company, a face and a name that appreciate your business. A welcome change! And an awesome cup o’ joe to complete our Vermont inn’s breakfast. We hope that you agree, we’ll be getting our first shipment from Cafe du Monde in just a few weeks.