Before I launch into today’s exciting blog post, there’s one very important update to share. Pumpkin syrup is BACK! Though the days have never been hotter, and at this point it seems as though summer is here to stay, we’re willing the leaves to start turning, the air to start crisping and our sweaters to start reappearing by reintroducing our house-made pumpkin syrup to the world. To help us all transition from summer into fall, we’re ready to start serving iced pumpkin lattes, iced pumpkin coffees and even, if you’re bold enough to try, iced pumpkin chais. We’ll have the syrup for the entire fall season, so as soon as you’re ready to add some spice to your step, stop by and try it out. Now onto the topic at hand…
Many things go into building a cafe: what coffee to serve, what kind of seating arrangement will work best, where to put the milk/sugar/lid area, should we have saucers for under our “for here” mugs, etc… Building the Pleasant Pops cafe has certainly been a process, making adjustments along the way as we gain experience. After changing much of the cafe floor plan eight months ago, adding small things like a shelf to display all of our teas behind the bar, and ordering Demitasse spoons to serve alongside an espresso or macchiato, each change brings us closer to the ideal cafe space. One of the most complicated projects which has been evolving since we opened two years ago is our in-store signage (including price signs, menus and our A-frames which help promote different items and events). With the hope of creating a comfortable, fun and efficient cafe space, our signs are always hand-written and usually, hopefully, a little bit quirky.
Our price signs and menu boards are handwritten by Hannah, the Pleasant Pops General Manager. After going through a few different phases (paper signs which would get ripped, chalkboard and chalk signs which would get smudged, and laminated signs which would get stained and lost), we’ve settled on our our current look: white chalkboard markers on black chalkboard, sprayed with a sealant and either magnetized or hooked with metal rings. Most products we sell have their own sign, though a few are organized onto a longer board like a mini menu (our baked goods, grab-and-go products and Ceremony Coffee beans are all listed this way). The menu boards, which hang behind the counter, are similarly designed by Hannah, though they change more often. Whenever we do a large menu change, Hannah must take down the board (which weighs a good 40 pounds), erase and rewrite the entire menu. It takes a while to appropriately lay out so much information on such a small board, but she does it beautifully.
Our A-frames, which are updated a few times a month, are meant to inform our customers (and general passers-by) of exciting, new things at Pleasant Pops. Whether we’ve created a brilliant new Pop flavor, are changing our store hours, or are hosting a special event (hint hint Pleasant Pops turns 2 this month!) we like to use bright colors and silly fonts to attract your eyes to our signs. I’m usually the one writing those signs (sorry if my lettering isn’t the most creative), and like to make them as engaging as I can!
Finally, we have a few permanent signs in the store, or pretty close to permanent. Our “Open/Close” sign, “Fresh Bread Baked Daily” sign and our “Year One in Numbers” sign on our Pop freezer were all designed and painted by Sarah Robbins, a Corcoran grad and friend of the Pleasant Pops family. With experience painting signs for Whole Foods, LuluLemon, and many other local businesses, Sarah has an amazing eye for making her signs clean, crisp and unique. As our second birthday approaches (again, hint hint), we’re excited to get some new designs in the shop. And just in case you were wondering, which I’m sure you were, the official Pleasant Pops font is Plantagenet Cherokee. So there’s that.