I Am The One Percent. There I said it. Proud to be in it. Proud to wear it on my sleeve. As proud as Mitt Romney is of his off-shore bank accounts.
Let’s consider the evidence.
Exhibit A: Even in the land of protest, beer, and coffee, I’m one of the few remaining mobile phone customers who admittedly has a flip phone. Personally, I am going to see how long I can resist the almighty “smart” phone – because I just figured out how to set my alarm clock.
Exhibit B: I have friends who still use a “Dial Up” modem. (There are high school kids today that have no idea what dial-up is!). Do you know how long it takes to download a video on dial up? Yeah, well don't hold your breath!
That’s okay. My friends and I have never been up on fashion. I finally got parachute pants the year they went out of style. I remember having Velcro-strapped shoes when they were no longer cool. I finally got a digital camera only after they stopped selling 35 millimeter film. The sad and pathetic list goes on and on…
Yup. The 1%.
This leads me to TNT Espresso on Broadway… one great-little Seattle coffee shop on Capitol Hill.
Monica Anaya, who is the owner and the Barista in Chief has worked at TNT Espresso Co. for the last 11 years but bought the place from the previous owners about two years ago, is also part of the 1%. She is a passionate and caring entrepreneur bringing her coffee expertise to Seattle.
“She is an example of the American Dream,” her brother told me as he served up a steamy Americano for me.
Owning the caffeinated corner of Broadway and Harrison and a solid fixture on Capitol Hill's Coffee Scene –TNT Espresso has a front row seat for Broadway’s daily action – the good, bad, and the ugly can all be seen from their vantage point.
Nevertheless, Monica, who graduated from U-dub in ’07 and a native of New Mexico, has made it a priority to deliver the best cup of coffee she can to locals and visitors alike. And one after the other, the customers come back for it…”I have so much passion for coffee and passion for Herkimer (coffee beans which she serves),” she tells me as she is surrounded by customers.
But that’s not why I believe she is so successful. Monica and her brother Edwin serve more than just great coffee. They serve a bit of the great community vibe right back at neighborhood patrons from sunrise to sundown. Monica greets every customer by name and knows the ins-and-outs of nearly every regular who walks up to their stand.
“Our customers love us as much as we love them she says,” as a line forms behind me.
Little short on cash? No problem, Monica serves coffee using the honor system. Pay when you can. Not so much a business strategy as evidence that this isn't your regular coffee joint – nope. This place is special.
Customers in return, appreciate the love and trust and repay her with their loyalty – and they always honor the credit she gives out.
No doubt, Monica and her TNT Espresso are also part of the 1%. Monica exhibits the kind of passion for coffee, customer service, and community some coffee shops could ever dream of.
Coming here, sipping on my TNT coffee, certainly makes me feel on the cutting edge of something really special. It definitely makes up for the awkward feeling every time I pull out my flip phone in a crowd or have to tighten up my velcro-shoes…
In addition to Herkimer Coffee, Monica serves High 5 Pie. Check ‘em out the next time you’re on Broadway.
Below is Monica (AKA “MoMo”) serving up an early morning latte:
TNT Espresso Co. 324 Broadway East