Summer food fun and drink – enjoying friendships

Victoria once had a pretty good cafe called Torrefazione Italia – ostensibly owned by Starbucks in their latter days – starting independently in the eighties or nineties and then getting swallowed up by the green machine in the late nineties.

Starbucks gave them a freehand for quite a while. Alas, some of the Torrefazione outlets became a little too popular for the sensibilities of the Mother-Ship in Seattle. The Portland location (several of them maybe) were very popular with Italian Americans, the signature coffee resonating with this hard-working group of coffee loving folks. And when the ‘Bucks shut the doors on T.I. about 4 years ago, there were some pretty heady protests – some large. Some small.

I was part of the small protest. I bought my cups (shown above). I wished the staff best of luck… and then I cursed Starbucks when they opened one more cookie-cutter location a thin block away from yet-another-Starbucks on the corner of Yates and Government Streets in Victoria… in the place where the beloved Torrefazione used to be.

Torrefazione was a friend, albeit an inanimate one of sorts – but a friend I could count on none the less. For great coffee. Comfortable digs. And feeding the friendships that I had at the time.

Which brings me to my point… about celebrating with the people around you. Your friends. Your close friends. Your new ones… and the old ones.
Never take a friendship or association for granted. It needs to be nurtured. And fed.

It might be just me, but in these times of thriving specialty coffee – and vibrant cafes… friendships, new and old, appear to germinate and blossom in places like these. It could be the caffeine, that catalyzes voluble discussion in combination with the power of sugar and grains – that calm the soul… and feed the mind.

It helps us grow. And be the best people we can be. There for the people that need us… when they need us.

Celebrate a friendship today.