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

Monday, October 31, 2011

How is Paddy's coping in this economy ?

We have all seen, read, heard and felt the pains of living on a daily basis the past few years. Folks are bewildered and look askance at the sorry state of affairs that we are in. The common man got hit the hardest by the collapse of the housing and finance markets. Yet it was the common man that bailed out the industries when they went begging to the federal government. And with due apologies for using a street expression, the common man has now got the shaft.

From our perspective, Paddy's is both the consumer and provider. We are a true main street retail organisation. We are seeing first hand the devastation that the economy has caused. Our business has indeed suffered, no sugar coating that. But even with that struggle of keeping our doors open and business afloat, we hired new staff. In a small minute way, we are doing our best to stimulate and keep the economy going. We never lose our smile and cheer.

The last couple years have indeed been very hard on us. We have seen and felt the loss of jobs in the area. Customers have moved, businesses closed, shrinking income in the households, but through it all,we have persevered and stayed true. We have kept our doors open for you to seek refuge from the stresses of the outside world. And we strive to make that fleeting moment that you spend at Paddy's, a pleasurable one. And that we promise, is something that is never going to change.

Indeed, while the political landscape is fraught with negativity and rigidity, you can escape to Paddy's for some good ol' fashioned civility and cheer.

What does the Occupy Movement mean to you ?

News filters in from various sources and various cities. Seems like almost every city in America nay the world is awash with the protest movement. The populace is getting restless and seeking a change to the status quo.

Now you might drink coffee or you might drink tea, does not matter your affinity. It matters that you are drinking a beverage of your choice and choosing to belong to a section of the populace that likes that particular beverage, and in your own way, propogating the virtues of that beverage.

The movement that is taking place is a movement that revels in its lack of leadership. Everyone is a leader and a follower. It is a true grass roots movement. Their main platform is controlling or reversing the economic disparity that is so blatantly and shamelessly visible. The common man has been sacrified at the altar of corporate lobbying by the elected representatives, and this is is the change that needs to be done. The question that begs to be answered : are the elected representatives accountable to the people who voted them in, or are they accountable to the lobbyists who fund their elections.And there in lies the future of this great nation.

It is a virtual gridlock in the DC political system. Compromise and mediation are words that are considered anathema. To a certain extent, we the citizens of this country have brought it upon ourselves by becoming too soft and apathetic to the erosion of the civic boundaries and morality.

How do we citizens bring about the change or participate in the change ? Paddy's Coffee House is having a community wide debate on this topic "What does the Occupy Movement mean to you ?" on Wednesday November 9th from 6 pm to 9 pm. We invite all community members to come and share their stories of frustration and despair, we invite the elected officials to listen to what the community has to say, and yes, we certainly invite the lobbyists to peer into the cauldron of anger that is simmering in the nation.

2011 Holiday Schedule

Our Holiday schedule for 2011

Thanksgiving Day November 24 : Close at noon
Open regular hours Black Friday Nov 25
Christmas Eve December 24 : Close at 5pm
Christmas Day December 25 : Closed
New Years Eve December 31 : Close at 5 pm
New Years Day January 1: Open at 10.00 am

Happy Holidays from all of us at Paddy's

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Music flowing at Paddy's

We are both happy and sad to state that we will be resuming music at Paddy's again. Happy because the local youth finally have a place to come back to play their music. We mentioned a few months ago that we would discontinue any further shows at Paddy's, because of the asinine financial and threatening demands from the music industry.

And yes, we were true to our beliefs and we stuck to it. What we failed to grasp was the gravity of our decision. Venues for the youth simply dried up or shut their doors because of the fear of lawsuits and what have you from the music industry. Almost all the cafes and coffee houses in the local area simply stopped hosting musicians and open mics.

The straw that broke the camel's back,so to speak, was our decision to host an open mic last month. We strictly informed all the performers that their performances would have to be originals, no hint of cover etc. In essence, we asked them to be as creative as possible. Lo and behold, the morning of the show, we got calls and emails asking us to cease and desist unless we pay up. Our arguments and pleadings against it fell on deaf ears. Their stand was simple, we cannot be guaranteed that there will be no cover copyright songs performed, so you are in the dock for money.

It really, really hurt us but we were left with no recourse but to cancel the show. The disappointment that was felt by the hosts was minute compared to the anguish we suffered. Our philosophy is, was and will always be to support the neighbourhood. And here we were, cancelling an event.

Emails, letters, phone calls continued from the music industry. It became unbearable. Finally, we capitulated and said enough is enough. The industry is asking us to fork out an arm and leg to continue performances. With that as a backdrop, we contacted all the performers to have a fundraiser for us to pay the industry. The response was phenomenal and truthfully, we were extremely emotional at the outpouring of support.

So, with that said, we are now having a Paddy's Pay the Music Industry Fundraiser Open Mic night, with your own neighbourhood kids rallying around and performing and raising funds for us. Please, please help us in our fundraiser drive, so we can pay the industry and not stifle the talent of the youth.

We never made any money hosting the youth for their shows, we never charged the youth for hosting their shows, au contraire, we donated to their cause or bought their wares etc, but the industry does not see the benevolent side of humanity. In their words, one of the performers played a Paul McCartney song, and thus we are liable to pay him.

We are glad to put this issue behind us. We do not condone the industry seeking their just dues, but we do condone their apathy in understanding the culture of an establishment and not paint everything in a broad brush.

Paddy's Startup Tech Hub October 2011

We did not have a Startup Tech Hub in September. For October, the Tech Hub is scheduled for Saturday October 22nd, from 2 to 4 pm. Quite a bit on the agenda.

a) Paddy's Coffee House recognised as small business of the year by Senator Ellen Corbett
b) Senator Ellen Corbett will be talking about her Social Network legislation (SB 242)
c) There will be a presentation by Ragapa.com, a startup based in the East Bay
d) Networking and what have you.

Please help us spread the word, and hope to see you on the 22nd.

Contest time

It's that time of the year. Yes, design contest time for our 2012 cups and T-shirts. For those not in the know, every year, we come out with a new slogan and design for our cups and T-shirts. Past entries have included
a) Port-A-Paddy's (an all time favourite)
b) Friend's let friends drink Paddy's
c) I am a Paddymeister
d) Sippin' it at Paddy's.
e) Who's your Paddy?
f) Got Paddy's ?

You get the idea. Put your creative juices to work, submit us your entries. The winners get a cup, a T-shirt and our heartfelt thanks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Book Drive for Starlight Children's Foundation

It has been a wonderful book drive so far. And boy oh boy, did people respond. What was particularly pleasing to the eye was seeing people stop, browse for books, pick up the one they like, sit down, peruse it over a cup of coffee. Talk about diversity of literature. Cook books (oh a great veggie cook book), text books, novels, fiction, faction, biographies. We spotted some really really good ones, alas, we missed out on the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

The main drive is over, but we are not folding up the table. We are keeping it open for you to drop books off, browse for other books, donate to the Starlight Children's Foundation jar and enjoy yourself.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Coffee for the month of October 2011

Fall weather is tunneling its way through enveloping presence of the Bay Area Summer. So naturally, while reaching out for your allergy pills, you also start making plans to head out somewhere warm. And suddenly all flights to the Hawaiian Islands are booked full. Well, while you are starting your planning, we cannot think of a better way to get into the spirit than by having our Island Blend Coffee.

Yup, our coffee of the month is our Island Blend Coffee, a very strong, full bodied coffee, that is a blend of Pacific Island Coffees. It has a very nice rich finish. Come by, sample it, and for this month, we retail our Island Blend Coffee for $13.00 a pound.