A Coffee Shop Opens Next to a Peet's

A Coffee Shop Opens Next to a Peet's

Cappuccino from Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek, CA 

Cappuccino from Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek, CA 

The Verdict: I recommend Coffee Shop. The coffee is excellent. The baristas know what they're doing. Also, for a coffee shop that could be SUPER snobby, the people working here are down to Earth.

Recently, Coffee Shop opened in the city center of Walnut Creek... a few doors down from a Peet's coffee. DUN DUN DUN! 

Not really, but this is such a ridiculous meme that I had to include it.

Not really, but this is such a ridiculous meme that I had to include it.

The Incumbent.
For those of you not on the West Coast, Peet's is like Starbucks - except bolder. It guarantees you a 3.5/5 coffee. Our incumbent has outdoor seating and has been at its location longer than I've been alive.

It's patrons (called Peet-ics) are early morning bikers, yoga women (/men), and pre-work coffee drinkers (so basically everyone).

As you can see, Coffee Shop made a bold and dangerous move setting up shop next to Peet's.

The Good.

  • Great beans
    Sightglass. Stumptown. Four Barrel. Whoever came up with this craft beer bar style coffee house is genius. Oh yeah- they also have 54 Mint Pastries. This is a genius idea.
  • Offerings of a bright espresso and a bold espresso every day
    Thank you for the variety. This is really refreshing
  • They're great on Instagram
  • They have a liquor license. 

Waffle at Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek, CA

What Could Be Better. Let me preface with - I love the idea of this place, but there are a few things that could make it a LOT better.

Social Media
Every day this Coffee Shop needs to post beans for their espresso and coffee drinks. Also, I want to know if you have chocolate chip scones!

If you post nothing, I will not come to your shop. If I do come to your shop, and I don't see a bold espresso - I'll be very annoyed, not buy anything, and make a beeline for Peet's.

Ambiance
The ambiance lacks personality:  I couldn't tell you if this place is a study spot or a hipster hangout. Notice, Peet's has a cozy vibe - and it has the whole outdoor seating going for them.

And how about some art on the wall. I suggest tasteful pictures of coffee, like the ones I've included ;). But seriously - give me something nice to look at. 

Expertise
Some of the staff is knowledgeable, but not all of it. Baristas- you need to know your coffees. When you tell me a roast is bold, when it is actually citrus-y, I am beyond livid.

Experience
People who are not coffee snobs will NOT come here because there is nothing unique about the experience.

Baristas could wear matching shirts or distinguishing hats or lab coats & bow ties OR SOMETHING. Be friendly. Be quirky. Have an identity!

I don't want to feel like my friend is making me coffee from his espresso machine - I can do that fo' free. Provide me with some VALUE.

Other
Tell me how a scone is $3, but 1/4 of a waffle is $7? I don't understand. I feel wronged.

The location just is terrible. And the lease for this prime location must be outrageous. In a "there can only be one coffee shop" situation, Peet's will be left standing.

Why did you guys all of a sudden choose to add the maple drizzle to the chocolate chip scones? Why why why? The scone itself is delicious.

And this one is random, but has been bothering me: Why do you need 2 espresso machines? I have never seen enough people in here to warrant making 8 espressos at a time.

It just makes me cringe- seeing that poor espresso machine just sit there. This second machine should be bought once there was a business case for it . Regardless, this is none of my business - maybe you guys just have stacks on stacks on stacks.

Conclusion
Coffee Shop has a lot of potential. I truly believe this. It's a great idea and they've partnered with some awesome roasters.  Unfortunately, it's location next to Peet's is going to be an obstacle. If it can offer a truly unique experience, it can stand a a fighting chance.

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Chocolate Chip Scone at Coffee Shop in Walnut Creek, CA

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