It’s become a tricky climate for the corner coffee shop and the independent record store. I-tunes lets people download any individual track they want for their individual earbuds. Starbucks storefronts are popping up across the street from each other with their seasonal decorations and faux-Italian names. What’s a small business-supporting music and macchiato connoisseur to do?
With La Colombe coffee, Le Bus pastries, and South Street Bagels, Porter shows a lot of local love on the menu. He’s also taken a page from many small business experts by letting the café grow gradually. He wrote that he hopes to eventually include “delicious menu items like fresh soups, salads & sandwiches.”
And then there’s the music. The shop’s walls are lined with only the most aesthetically pleasing album covers. Customers can browse stacks the stacks of albums. Sure, there isn’t the selection of your typical chain mega-store, but there are hidden, obscure gems in every pile. You know what they say about quality, not quantity: Milkcrate observes this to a tee.
The carefully selected music creates a better soundtrack than most coffee shops could dream of. The caffeine cuts down on the snobby atmosphere that can hover over many record stores (High Fidelity, anyone?). Combining two struggling industries into one storefront has created an unexpected, ideal haven for music and coffee lovers alike.
This is just one of many stories where creative Philadelphians have combined their interests to create their dream jobs and dream shops. Know of any other shops that successfully fuse other business models? Know of any other Philly entrepreneurs who have been able to follow their various interests now that they have the freedom to be their own boss? Let us know. We’ll be more than happy to share their stories, too.