I was walking through Pacific Fair today. It was jam packed. From carpark to K-mart – everywhere was teeming with busy consumerism. And I liked it. Despite what the hippies might say. I buy therefore I am. With that out of the way (and without revealing any purchases made ahead of my family-in-law’s Christmas celebrations in the brighter hours of this morning), I was struck by a thought as I ducked and weaved through the crowds holding tightly to my wife’s hand. Nay. I was struck by three thoughts…
1. There are literally billions of people in this world who I will never ever meet, but may walk past fleetingly in a shopping centre. That could be my sole interaction with them. Ever. Being in the same place at the same time. Competing for that single spare space in the car park – a coincidental intersection in the space time continuum. That is mind boggling. Each of these people has a life, a history, a story of their own… and each has a different reason for being at the shops at the same time as me. Robyn and I were sitting in one of Pacific Fairs many food courts tittering at the idea of standing on the table and doing some street evangelism. What would the police say as they dragged me away on trumped up public nuisance charges? I do like to watch people as they walk around and judge them by their clothes, snippets of conversation and the way they discipline their children. I like to speculate what their life story is. What life is like for them. Why they’re buying 50 rolls of no frills single ply toilet paper in one go (that sentence could do with some hyphenating). Nobody needs that much TP. People watching is fun. I can almost understand the tantalising appeal of reality television at that point. Almost. Only real life is more fun.
2. Krispy Kreme deserve to be famous for their coffee – not just their donuts. Their stores are always immaculately kitted out with cutting edge coffee machinery – and staff who seem to know their way around a Mazzer grinder and aLa Marzocco machine. I guarantee Krispy Kreme will produce a better coffee than any other global franchise. They leave Starbucks and Gloria Jeans for dead. Every Krispy Kreme store I’ve been too has the same coffee kit – and it works like a charm.
3. If I ran a candy store I would be as happy as a kid in a candy store. Lolly shops are great. I’ve only been to one or two in my time that had an owner straight out of Roald Dahl’s “Boy” – a sour, dour old person. Lolly shops seem to attract nice people. How could you not be happy surrounded by so much sugar? If I weren’t so enamored with the other careers I plan to pursue then I would quite happily start up a lolly shop/cafe.
3a. Simply because I want to add an extra point while adhering to my “three points” promise – I’d like to point out that cookie shops always smell the best of all. I love the smell of fresh cookies at cookie man. That must surely be their sole marketing pitch. Krispy Kreme at Pacific Fair hand out little paper hats to children so they’ll wear them as their parents shop. At least their unruly behaviour may draw the eye of passers by. Cookie Man doesn’t need such trivialities. They have an aromatic weapon that works like the pied pipers flute. I did hear at a tourism industry workshop with Tom O’Toole – owner of the Beechworth Bakery – that one of their successful initiatives was to pump the smells from the bakery kitchen out onto the street. If I were to start up a lolly shop/cafe I’d have to think up a similar scheme.