8.25.2009

Most Unfriendly Shopkeeper Award Goes To... (Not Bob's Red Mill)

The other day I took advantage of something that rarely happens in my life. I had five whole hours to myself. It felt like I won lottery! I had a long "to do" list but selfishly decided to do something for myself. The laundry could wait, the post office would open again the next day-My husband, kids and grand baby were otherwise occupied...
I woke up and hit the floor running, made a double coffee and headed out. I knew right where I was going. It was a forty minute drive- but I didn't care. There was a little shop I was dying to visit. I had tried before but showed up on a day they were closed. I had peeked in the window and couldn't wait to take pictures to share with you. I took the right exit off the highway and then turned on the wrong road. A hour and a half later I walked through the doors. It was everything I thought it would be. But better! The shop was very small but arranged so perfectly, you could stand in one place for a half hour-gazing. As I reached for my camera It occurred to me - the polite thing to do to would to be ask if I could take some pictures so I could rant and rave on my blog about them. Before the friendly girl behind the counter could utter a word, I heard a emphatic "NO!" from around the corner. There was a awkward pause and she said "I guess not." The owner (I assume) poke her head in the room for a second and then disappeared again. No pleasant Hello, No friendly welcome, No apologetic "I am paranoid people will copy my ideas, but thank you anyway."
I took a moment to recover. Doesn't the old saying go "even bad publicity is good publicity?" Mine would have been reeeealy good! I purchased a few items and left the store. I will not mention the name of the store, but if you are ever in the Milwaukee OR. area...enter at your own risk!
Thankfully that wasn't the end of my day. I had passed another store I had wanted to visit for almost as long! As you know, my husband is a world class bread baker. So Bob's Red Mill held more the a little interest for me. (specialty flour and foods) Besides, by now I was hungry. I pulled into a overflowing parking lot, drove around...and then again... and finally parked on the street.
As I entered my senses were overwhelmed. Should I shop first- or eat at the delightful cafe? Since I had only coffee, I opted for breakfast. (served all day) My guy can wake up and eat spaghetti or a corn dog, but there is a certain order to life. Breakfast, Lunch then dinner. I was still on breakfast. I placed my order then wandered down the aisles. Everywhere I looked there were specialty flours and mixes- I was sure even the most elementary cook could conquer. Hot cereal, gluten free, a bit of this and a bit of that. A cookbook section, pre-made bread and cookies, specialty cookware...I could go on and on. And it all felt so....healthy. So special(ty)
I sat down to eat my perfectly cooked eggs with "home made bread." This is the part where the contrast between stores was glaring. I heard my server say to someone at the table next to me- "Bob, these guests would like to speak to you." True story! He may not be in the pages of US Weekly, but here, Bob was just as much a celebrity as...Leo DiCaprio! He stood from his meal, walked around the table and shook hands with his customers. They shared a laugh or two and when they were done- he cleared his table. If you're not from our parts, Bob's Red Mill products are usually found in the health food or natural isles of your grocery store.
As I shoveled the last few bites of food into my mouth, I decided I WOULD take a picture with this friendly Atelier Bob. I stood up, reached for my bag- and turned as he walked away. I didn't want to chase him down but I definitely knew I would not only mention him, I would bring my family and friends back. Besides, you can tour the flour mill/factory and that is something I would love to do! Here's to Bob! He doesn't know it but he restored my faith in the kindness of man! AND that is why I was the only customer in the other shop, and had to park in the street at Bob's!
Visit and order online here at Bob's Red Mill.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have run into people like that. I prefer those who are willing to share tips and ideas. Love your blog!

Dixie said...

One place in particular that I have blogged about has seen significant business increase since my blogging/photos... looks like your shopkeeper has missed out! Miss Beverly at Glory B's in Geronimo, Texas would have told them what the positive side of allowing bloggers to photograph their shop could be...

a shame... but what can ya do...

Uncovered Ruby said...

I love the recap about Bob. There's always going to be unhappy people, but the ones that shine are the ones that leave an impression on us! I'll be visiting the Mill sometime soon!

Karen said...

I was glad to hear that Bob's was the friendly store. I've been wanting to get there! The re-gifting store sounds great, too! It should do well, since, like you say GW is so expensive for everyone. Thanks for sharing the news! Karen

Norah said...

I buy Bob's at the grocery store all the time! Cool that the mill is right near you, and you saw him.

Sharla said...

Sounds like a fun day... I would love to visit bobs red mill and I didnt even know about it until i read about it here now, see blogging is good for business:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words about our store. We are so pleased to have given you such a grand experience! We hope you will make it to the mill for a tour someday!

Sincerely,
Cassidy Stockton
Bob's Red Mill

Anonymous said...

Fun to read your blogs! I just found a new consignment shop the other day, called The Treasure Trove. They have amazing prices and they sell everything from clothes to furniture. You should check them out, too! They are on 123rd Ave in SE Vancouver. Happy Blogging! -Vicki