Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Starting with Stroop

Greetings Citizen or Family Member!

You’re a brave soul!  I wanted to thank you for taking a supreme personal risk by chomping into one of my kitchen-crafted and totally experimental Stroopwafels. What a champ! You’re helping me to accomplish my dream of opening my own coffee shop.  And yes, feel free to imagine yourself holding my hand, skipping merrily down the sidewalk. 

But…  Stroop...Waffles, did I mean?  What is a “stroop”, and why the funny “wafel” business?
Well, let me tell ya:  A stroopwafel is a Dutch cookie, invented over 200 years ago way over yonder in Gouda, a town known more famously for its cheese.  “Stroop” means syrup, the caramelly filling in between the “Wafel”, which does, you’re right, mean waffle.  I like to think of them as caramel-filled waffle cone cookie circles.  I started experimenting with them when I decided to pursue my dream of starting a coffee business in mid 2013, but I had no idea what they were until I got my dream juices flowing.  It’s strange the places you’ll go when you want to accomplish a goal.  And though I don’t remember how, I suddenly found out these Stroopwafels were shaped just so to be placed on top of a cup of hot coffee or tea, so the caramel melts just right in the middle.  Leave it to those clever Dutch.  I had to try it out.

Coffee is a habit forming concoction, especially when it is shared with good friends in a comfortable place.  My love of coffee, and the inspiration for my dream, started at a local diner, where a one night occasion turned into an every night affair, all because the coffee was plentiful, drinkable, and the atmosphere was just right.  My friends and I would spend hours and days drinking coffee, playing cards, chatting about the world and often making new friends with other frequent patrons and even the members of the staff, who knighted us with the honorary title of “Regulars” and eventually--yes, this is a thing--VIP status that earned us a 10% discount every time we came in.  And boy, did we keep coming.

I heard Kevin Clash (the puppeteering soul of Elmo) once say--and I’m paraphrasing from memory, mind you--that when you decide to start pursuing a dream, you never end up where you thought you’d be.  And the journey to get there?  Totally unexpected, and surprising, and stressful. The kind of unexpected and surprising and stressful you might encounter driving a trailer full of mountain goats on a snowy, edge-grinding pass.  Or in a book you’re writing on a deadline where the characters come alive and take the reins to steer the story in ways your publisher never asked. Or in trying to raise a stubborn child who one day looks at you and says something so profound and soulful and out of the blue that you just can’t do anything but sit down and breath and smile and feel proud...  I just wanted to *poof* an awesome coffee shop into existence.  Somehow the journey has lead me to you putting this crazy homemade dutch cookie thing in your mouth. You've become a stepping stone, in this moment.  An integral one.  And for that, I’ll always be thankful.

So, yes I’m wordy, but I wanted to say Enjoy!  And be honest about the cookies.  Without negative feedback, I’ll never get to where I want to go.  

If you would like to follow along in my coffee shop quest, sign up for my no-spam, awesome-news-only Newsletter at the top right of this page where I’ll sporadically keep you updated on the status of my growing business, AND where you’ll be able to place future Stroopwafel orders if you’re so inclined (and I hope you are)!  Also, and I’m just sayin’, don’t be surprised if I make YOU a future VIP for giving me moral support while I crawl through the infancy of my endeavors...and hopefully emerge serving you uncommonly amazing, locally roasted, Fair Trade, delicately hand crafted and plentiful brews in a warm and welcoming environment.  

Cheers to you!  And as always, enjoy.