What’s in a Name?

I used to go to Planet Smoothie every day. I mean, literally. I wouldn’t go a day without a Chocolate Elvis or a Grape Ape. There are lots of reasons I felt pathetic about this, the first being adults are not supposed to live off smoothies. But it didn’t help that saying the words “Grape Ape” made me feel like a second grader.


So Cal and I have decided to keep our drink menu pretty basic: Coffee. Latte. Cappuccino (Cal’s favorite). Americano (my favorite). You get the idea. I don’t want you to feel like you’re hosting a Nickelodeon show when all you want is your morning coffee. But there will be occasional exceptions: Seasonal drinks. Children’s drinks. And the Bob.


See, the Bob is a Crestline institution. Here’s the story:


The most popular drink in Mountain Brook is the Sugar-free Vanilla, Non-fat Latte — low in calories, high in syllables. The problems arose when husbands would try to order drinks for their wives: “I’ll take a Non-fat Vanilla Coffee … no, a Sugar-Vanilla Free … no … wait, let me call her …” You get the picture.


One bleary-eyed morning, Cal was working with his usual morning crew, Sarah and Courtenay. (Courtenay’s also my sister.) As legend has it, after watching one too many men stumble through a confused drink order, Courtenay threw up her hands.


“Okay, from now on, the Sugar-free Vanilla, Non-fat Latte is just called a Bob. That’s it. Don’t try to remember it, just call it a Bob.”


The Bob isn’t named after anyone, it’s just the shortest, easiest name she could think of. And the idea caught on. Customers ordered their Bobs, and they promptly forgot the long version. It’s one of my favorite stories about working at Crestline, because it’s about responding to the customer’s needs, even with something as basic as placing an order.


So you see, we have to have the Bob. We don’t really have a choice, because our customers will order it anyway. It’s one of the things we love about them, and one of the reasons we can’t wait to open our doors.

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