HUMOR - Spell it Out!
Shepherds and Seamstresses - a Mother's Day Message

A Taste of Excellence

Stay on your toes

Coffee and Honey

09/21/2006, 03:35:30 PM

Two people taught me lessons in entrepreneurial excellence some years ago. They confirmed and illustrated some truth I already knew. You have to stay on your toes to make a lasting impression.

Some folks collect postcards, swag, and other souvenirs when they travel. I do that too, but mostly, I collect memories and ideas. As I was browsing through my files, I found a reflection I had written in 2006 during a trip to Canada. I have blended those words into this final product.

They all go together like coffee and honey.

When you are in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, you must go to Guy's Café and Bakery (  for lunch. You will be greeted by Guy and that is an experience not to be missed. He will entertain you as he gets your order right. The food is worth it without the atmosphere, but with the atmosphere, you will be making a memory.

The coffee is aromatic and delicious. The refills are free.

Your food will be brought to the table by a staff member with an embroidered insignia that reads, "Insane Staff." Our servers had clearly embodied the corporate culture which apparently includes service, fun, and quality with an underlying value for friendliness.

We went in as a group (The California Singing Churchmen) and were invited to sing the Doxology for our dessert. Seldom have as many customers been as unanimously enthusiastic about a lunch and an establishment.

Find Guy at 6201 Grande Blvd., Cochrane, or call 403-851-9955 for directions (in Alberta, Canada).

Don't wait until you get to Canada to try some Canadian honey from the Nixon Honey Farm ( ). Craig and Tammy Nixon raise the bees, gather the honey, and package it for marketing. I have never tasted anything so tasty or met a nicer honey maker as Tammy.

We ran in to her in the mall in Calgary and she supplied us with all the samples in her car - just so that we could have the experience.

The common denominator with both entrepreneurial ventures is the second mile of service and passion associated with delivering that service with quality.

They will go far. So will you if you learn what they know about staying on their TOES!

Take Initiative for Excellence.

Don't wait to be asked. Keep your mind active and your imagination flowing for new ways to go the extra mile and delight your public with joy and fun.

Overwhelm People with Unexpected Enthusiasm.

Be a cheerleader for your brand. Love what you do and what you produce.

Extend Your Service Beyond Anyone's Expectations.

Tammy and Guy both did this. They went out of their way to do the unexpected and that was to the delight of many. We enjoyed what they did and we told many people about it. Sixteen years later, I am still telling the story.

Serve People in Surprising Ways.

Yes! Surprise them and surprise yourself that you thought of something new. This will feed your enthusiasm and energize you as well as energizing your public. People will be come your ambassadors.

I hope to get back some day. I want to visit the Rockies again and I want to check in on my old friends!

Coffee and honey