What nots of a former coffee house guy

Welcome to random bon mots from a guy that used to own the best darn coffee house in Union City, CA

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Smoothies and freezes

Paddy's has a new lineup of smoothies now, to quench and satiate your taste buds. Here is the line up of smoothies with our description on the funky nomenclature.

- Starry Brew : Strawberry Smoothie (Starry Brew is also an anagram for Strawberry)
A star in its own right. Our delicious Strawberry Smoothie

- StrawMan : Strawberry Mango Smoothie
Need that tickling tingling taste. StrawMan to your rescue. A delicious blend of Strawberry and Mango
- Starry Munky : Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Feeling mischievous ? Starry Munky, a wonderful blend of Strawberry and Banana for a fun life.
- OhManGo : Mango Smoothie
Walk Tall with our perfect Mango smoothie.
- Aloha Paddy : Tropical Passion Smoothie
Can’t go to the islands ? Let the fruits of the Island come to you. Guava, Tropical Passion, Mango, all in one cup. Umbrellas not included.
- StrawLime : Strawberry Lemonade (errr, we lost our way on this nomenclature)
Answer to a parched throat. Drench yourself with our StrawLime Smoothie.
- BerryPaddy : The Berry Smoothie
Get a healthy energy boost at Paddy’s with our BerryPaddy Smoothie, a blend of delicious berries rich with anti-oxidants.

Apart from smoothies, we have also have Vanilla Freeze, Mocha Freeze, Green Tea Match Freeze, Peppermint Chiller and yes, The Bomb Diggity Yo Freeze

Come by for a sip

Securing the network

Far too long, our network was an open access. You could power up your laptop/smartphone etc, and you were instantly connected to our network.

With changing times and technologies and to avoid any illegal activity on our open network, we have now enforced a password on our network.

If you attempt to log onto our network, you will be prompted for a password. Please ask us. Cautionary note, passwords will change on a weekly basis for now.

Happy surfing.

New T-shirts are here

And your long wait is now over. Paddy's Tshirts for this year are now available in sizes Medium, Large and Xtra Large. And all yours for only $15.00. Young Jon is a good model for our new

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Start Up Tech Hub - A success

Our first StartUp Tech Hub held on June 18th from 2 to 4 pm was a great success. We were taken aback on the enthusiasm and the fervour of the participants. Few budding entrepreneurs got some sound advice from couple of seasoned startup veterans, who are now on their 4th and 5th ventures.

Networking was the name of the game. Web designers were showcasing their portfolios to prospective employers, business cards and twitter handles were being exchanged.

This has given us the confidence to continue hosting more meetups. The next meetup will be on Saturday July 16th from 2 to 4 pm. Jack Herrington, a loyal supporter of Paddy's, right from the initial days, and a seasoned tech industry veteran in his own right, will be talking on Mobile Software Development. We are also going to showcase two startups, who need the critique from the audience to further develop and hone their products.

If you know any startups that want to show case their product line, feel free to invite them.

Stay tuned for a detailed event list. Till then, mark your calendars for July 16th, 2 to 4 pm for the next StartUp Tech Hub at Paddy's.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tales from the Vault - Emotional goodbyes

School year ended June 16th 2011. Summer vacation starts. And what a day it was yesterday at Paddy's. Early in the morning, we had a few regular AMS school girls come in. Very shyly and with all the grace in the world, they proffered us a plate full of treats.

"Mr Paddy, we baked these for you. Thank you very much for treating us so nicely and making us our drinks. We are going to miss you for the summer. Will you be here when our school starts again ? ". Needless to say, we were touched.

And shortly thereafter, some teachers came by with cookies for us, for helping them get through the year. Sadly it was tinged with the knowledge that we will not be seeing some of them. With the budget crisis, some of them have received pink slips.

Joy and sadness, co existing at Paddy's

Menu changes and drink size changes

Say what you will, it is summer time now. What better time than to introduce our new line of smoothies, and a new line of sandwiches. We are currently testing out the products and so far the reception has been favourable. Starting July 5th 2011, our new line of smoothies will be on the menu. Some of the existing smoothies will be dropped to make way.

We are also taking this opportunity to streamline our drink sizes. Soon as the inventory is over, we will not be carrying 20oz hot drinks anymore. Our hot drink sizes will be 12oz and 16oz. Of late, we have found that our patrons have been watching their expenses and opting for the lower sized drinks. And we much appreciate their patronage even in these hard times. Similarly, for the cold drinks, our sizes will now be 16oz and 20oz.

This means you will see a price reduction on some items, and a price correction on some items.

Please, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why the Tech Hub ?

Silicon Valley. The very name conjures up engineers, technologists, start ups, constant innovations, geek paradise. With a location in the East Bay part of Silicon Valley, Paddy’s is host to numerous members of the fraternity. And what better way to encourage a spirit of networking and camaraderie over a cup of coffee. Have a mixer at Paddy’s.

Have an wonderful idea and looking for developers / marketing people ? Looking to change careers, want to get into the consulting arena for start ups ? Want to provide ancilliary services such as accounting / human resources etc to the start ups ? Want to find out new trends in the market ? Well, this networking mixer is just for you .

Every 3rd Saturday from 2 to 4pm,

Paddy’s is pleased to host the Start Tech Hub (STH). We are providing you with a venue to showcase your product and talent, hobnob with like minded individuals, listen to guest speakers, and of course enjoy a good cup of coffee.

Help us spread the word and we hope to see you there.

Monday, June 6, 2011

CA Small Business of the year award

At the Sacramento Convention Centre, and Paddy's Coffee House is being presented with an award as small business of the year from district 10 represented by Senator Ellen Corbett. This show is put up by the California Small Business Association.

And what a gathering it is. Lots of small business from various districts of California, and they each have a tale to tell. Succeeding against all odds, helping out the community, being at the forefront of innovation. Compared to them, we are small potatoes or to use a sorry expression, we are tiny beans :)

Truly, the state of CA is a wonderful place, though sometimes the regulatory processes can drive one up the wall. And that's what a lot of folks are talking about, and telling their legislators. Hope something good comes out of it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

And who are we ?

People constantly ask us about our colleagues and how did they come to work here ? We tend to hire students, with the main criteria being that they have to finish high school.

We do not look for experience, on the contrary we found that it was a hurdle in assimilating into our culture. And we have been extremely fortunate with all our colleagues. The average stay is about 2.5 years which is a remarkable feat in the industry. And that really helps, because as a customer when you come in, you are greeted by a familiar friendly face.

Their field of studies is pretty diverse. Hospitality Management, Engineering, Psychology, Speech Therapy, Sports Therapy, Law, Accounting, Computer Engineering and then you have Paddy who is a study unto himself.

Yeah,we are a different breed out here. We actively encourage our colleagues to talk and network with you, our patrons, to help them grow professionally. We have found that this has helped the young ones tremendously in becoming more aware of the profession of their chosen academic career.

Often times, we ask our patrons to coach and guide our colleagues in interview techniques, resume writing, industry outreach etc. It helps everyone out.

Who are you ?

And yes, that is a vexing question. The "you" here refers to our customer base. It is very diverse, ethnically, culturally, professionally and financially.

The neighbourhood we are in is a classic middle working area. In the days of the past, it used to be the home of both the rich landowners and the labourers that worked on their lands. And in contemporary times, we do have that economic disparity.

Quite a few of our patrons are extremely well off, while the others tend to be a bit more cautious. Many of our patrons are from the hi tech industry, and apart from that, we have a huge medical fraternity customer base, and automotive and service industry folk as well.

And then we have the student community. Who can all be lumped in one basket "Stressed out Students". And their field of studies is pretty diverse.

So what is coffee of the month ?

We used to brew different coffees every day. We noticed what our patrons liked and did not. Based on all that and to keep things even more interesting, we decided to switch to a dual coffee concept.

So we have a coffee of the month, which is one particular coffee varietal repeated every day, and we have a coffee of the day, where we rotate the varietals every day.

So for June 2011, we have our coffee of the month as our own
As mentioned in one of the earlier posts, we have a few of our own blends, and ought to admit, we are quite proud of them. Namaste Blend was designed by one of our colleagues, and it was an accidental design. We then brushed and polished the accident to give you Namaste Blend.

And it conveys the simplicity and complexity of the coffee bean. Namaste is Hindi for "Greetings", and given the context and personalities involved, it can be a simple form of greeting or a highly respected and revered form of greeting.

Enjoy the coffee.

Awards and recognitions

Paddy's Coffee House has received quite awards and recognitions. And quite honestly, each and every one of them has been a complete surprise. We have never ever gone out of our way to solicit awards or recognitions. We just open our doors, smile like the dickens, be the friend and family on your travels and help out where ever we can. And unbeknownst to us, people talk about our involvements and participation, and lo and behold, we get calls congratulating us for yet another award.

So, shockingly we have to mention that on June 6th 2011, we are receiving yet another award. This time, the California Small Business Association is recognising us as an outstanding Small Business of the year from District 10, represented by Senator Ellen Corbett.

On behalf of everyone in the community and all our well wishers and patrons, we will be accepting the award. Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one, and to Senator Ellen Corbett for nominating us.

Where do we go for coffee and tea ?

When we are out and about, we prefer to visit similar establishments in the neighbourhood. Suju's Coffee in Fremont is the grand daddy of them all. Mahesh Patel is our friend and mentor. When we started, we would constantly run to him for guidance. Thank you Mahesh for everything that you have done. We are in your debt.

Apart from Suju's, we go to Mission Coffee in the Mission Area of Fremont. We also have Eon Coffee, across from Chabot College in Hayward. In San Leandro, we have Zocalo Coffee House. What can we say about Tim Holmes? We started off around the same time, both ex geek heads venturing in the world of retail. At least a month does not pass when we share and exchange stories and our foibles. We are the sounding board for each other.

And let us not forget the newest kid on the block, Snappy's Cafe in Hayward. April Yamaguchi used to work for us with the understanding that she will be opening her own coffee house in the future. And boy, did she do it ? It is with great pleasure that we inform the world that the first week end in June is Snappy's first anniversary. Congratulations April and Snappy's. Very truly, welcome to neighbourhood. Our loss is A Street's gain.

With all of them, we have a lot of common traffic and frequently, we send patrons to each others establishments.

May the power of indie coffee houses rise.

Tales from the Vault - A new beginning

Earlier on, we had mentioned this young lad. Imagine our surprise, when he shows up at Paddy's one day, with a nice young lady in tow. It was a shock on seeing him. He looked real good, had an air of confidence in him. The Army had taken care of a wayward soul.

We knew the young lady from her previous visits to the shop and we had reckoned the two were friends. To our utter pleasant shock, they inform us that they had recently got married in a civil ceremony while he was on leave. It was an emotional moment for all of us, because we were seeing the growth and maturity.

Turns out, apart from the marriage, the lad was in the process of reconciling with his parents. Pointed out to both of them, that they are not the brash young teenagers any more, who think they know the world. A simple word of Sorry will help in breaking the ice with his parents.

And lo and behold, a couple days later, his dad shows up, thanking us profusely for our assistance. All we did was talk patiently to the young boy, that's all. It was more his doing than anything else.

It is instances like these that make it worthwhile keeping the doors open.