Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Coffee Club

As I sit on my bed, slightly hungover (I emphasize slightly because I would never drink too much on a Saturday night, sheesh!) on a Sunday afternoon just poodleing around on my laptop, I had some sudden flashes of a time long ago. LONG ago it seems, all the way back to 1994ish. I was thinking about a job I has, as assistant manager for a coffee house called "Coffee Club". There was actually 5 stores in SF bay area, and this was before Starbucks hit big.

My boss was a man named Jim Chelossi, from San Carlos, CA (which is where I lived and worked at the time). We would have lines out the door for hours with people waiting to get their java fix. I would litterally be headfirst in the espresso machine slinging lattes and whatnot from 6am until noon before there was any real break in customer flow. Naturally, the drinks would be hot and customers would ask to "double cup" their beverage as to not burn their hands. This mean of course, that we would go through twice as many cups as was needed and Jim Chelossi was not too happy about the added expense. So he came up with an idea. He created a "sleeve" for the cups, that was just like having a second cup wrapped around the first, but only a portion of one. This would cut down on waste, storage, and expense of using extra cups. He invented and patened (in 1995) the sleeves used in every Starbucks shop and otherwise out there known to man, who imbibes in hot beverages. So, even though Starbucks basically ran him out of the coffee business by taking all the customers away, I'm sure he is having a laugh on a yacht somehwere in St. Tropez.

Next time you're at Starbucks and they hand you your latte, you'll know that my former boss is the guy who invented that sleeve around your cup!