What’s ancient Greece got to do with the best coffee places in Scottsdale?
Let’s talk about the best coffee places in Scottsdale and the best coffee shops in Phoenix.
But first, let’s talk about back in the day — way back; ancient Greece and Rome back. Back before there was a Scottsdale or a Phoenix or even coffee. Back then, if you won something; say, an athletic competition, the organizers or a politician or somebody else important would put a wreath of leaves on your head.
Those leaves were from the laurel tree, sacred to the god Apollo, so those twisted twigs were a bigger deal than, oh, other twisted twigs. They symbolized to everybody that you were the best of the best. Or at least one of the BOTB.
There were other perks, too, of course. Such as, if you won an event in the Pythian Games (also dedicated to Apollo), you probably wouldn’t need to buy your own drinks for the rest of your life. Particularly if you wore your laurel wreath on your head every time you went to the
local whatever the ancient Greeks and Romans called a pub. Lots of people would want to show their appreciation for you being a BOTB. They’d want to be close to you and hear your stories of that victory. They’d want to buy your wine.
Of course, after a while, they’d also like to hear new stories. And that would mean you’d still need to be competing. But maybe you’d been spending a little too much time soaking up the free wine and not as much on the track or trail, and your best years were behind you. Still, you had your leaves, and as long as those hung on to the wreath and your wreath held onto your head, the wine would keep a’flowin’. The smiles as you walked in the door might be a little tighter.
The next rounds might follow a little slower and the faces as you start a story might turn away a little quicker. But you were still a BOTB … once. And you have the wreath to prove it.
This kinda sad little scenario is known as “resting on your laurels.” And before we go on with why we deserve the title of one of the best coffee places in Scottsdale…
Let us show you our laurels
Sip Coffee and Beer got started in 2014. That was our Scottsdale location. The very next year, the famous Zagat restaurant rating site named our new place to their list of “Hottest Restaurants in Scottsdale.”
That same year, Thrillist named us one of their “Best Bars in Scottsdale.” Thrillist paid a visit the next year to our new Arcadia location, and named it to their list of “Best Coffee Shops in Phoenix.”
Other awards followed:
- Newsweek, 2015 — Top 10 Places to See during the Super Bowl
- Phoenix magazine, 2015 — Breakout Star
- Big 7 Travel, 2020 — 7 Best Places for Coffee in Phoenix
Yeah, we got us some laurels. But we don’t wear them around all over the place. That’d be needy and pathetic. We stuck them up there on our website and got back down to business. So go look at them if you want to. We’ve kinda moved on.
That’s not to say we’re not proud to be one of the best coffee places in Scottsdale
OK, yes, we’re proud. That’s why we put those awards up on the site. (They’re on page 1 — not very high up, but they’re there.) But you know what we always keep in mind when somebody calls us “one of the best coffee places in Scottsdale” or “one of the best coffee shops in Phoenix”?
They said “one of.”
If somebody says you’re “one of” something, you got no business resting on your laurels.
The other thing we keep in mind? There are a bunch of really good coffee shops in Scottsdale and Phoenix. We know them. We have friends in some of them. We visit. We enjoy them. Part of the reason we got into this business is that we like going to coffee shops, so we thought we’d start our own. But that doesn’t mean we can’t go to the others anymore.
(Even better, now it counts as “market research,” so maybe they’re deductible. We’ll have to look into that.)
So if we’re “one of” those best shops, well, we’re proud to be on that exclusive list with the others.
But those aren’t the awards we’re proudest of.
The laurels that really count
It’s cool to be able to put up the logos of Newsweek and Thrillist and Phoenix magazine and Big 7 on our homepage, along with the numbers that show how much they think of us. But that’s just old news.
You know what really keeps us stoked? What really reminds us every day that we’re one of the best coffee places in Scottsdale and Phoenix? The faces of people who come in.
First, it’s the looks when they open the door and see the place and think “I’d like to stay here a while.” Then it’s the smiles and friendly words when they leave. In between, it’s their
expressions when they look at the menu, and when they get their orders, and when they decide, “Y’know, I think I will have dessert!”
And then it’s the faces that we see most often; the return Sippers, and their friendly words when they walk in the door and when they leave, when they order and when they just want to chat with us like they did last time and the times before.
Why does that mean so much to us? Because those are the people who know we’re not resting on our laurels.
Two Greeks walk into a bar. Both of them are athletes. One of them won a big race a few years ago, got his laurels, and has come in every afternoon since to tell stories of how good he was.
The other Greek? He walks in a lot later because he’s been at the gym working out for his next competition. Gotta stay in shape. Gotta stay sharp. And he’s the one the other patrons are happy to see; happy to spend money on and time with.
Yes, we’re proud we’ve earned some laurels. But we’re even prouder that our customers know we’re still working hard to earn them.