Do One Nice Thing by Debbie Tenzer as part of the Silicon Valley Moms Blog Network monthly book club. It's a book filled with easy examples of ways to do one nice thing a week for others - to make their day, to create a domino-effect of spreading joy, and to feed your own soul by doing good for others. I subscribe to the Do One Nice Thing premise and have experienced first-hand how being charitable can boomerang back to you. In my opinion, the one good deed doesn't just stop at the deed, but the kindness lives on in other unexpected ways. The ideas in this book include examples like paying it forward by paying for the next car's order at the drive-thru, among others . . . Which got me thinking about my favorite drive-thru coffee shop and how they did one nice thing for me, and I've been a loyal customer ever since.
We've taken three roadtrips to Michigan from New Jersey this year and one of the highlights of our trips - other than visiting family, or celebrating the events we were there for, is when we reach Michigan and stop at a Biggby Coffee. With fun and whimsical names like "teddy bear," "moon boot," and "s'mores" the coffee drinks are smooth, rich and inventive. One of my favorites is the white chocolate mint latte, one of my hubby's faves is the caramel marshmallow latte. It's something we actually plan our route by and look forward to along the 10 to 12 hour drive. Each time we visit a location, the staff is friendly and helpful. This may stereotypically be a Midwest-thing, but it is such a welcome change from the service we are accustomed to at our local coffee place on the East coast, that it makes getting coffee a nice, warm experience. At Biggby, they curtail their personal conversations and almost always ask us a question, or remark on something about us: "nice purse," "how old is he," or "where are you headed," At our local east coast joint, the most I'm usually asked is "what can I get started for you?' or "do you want whipped cream on top?" and I'm there once or twice a week.
It started last winter when I acquiesced to my family's prompting to try Biggby Coffee (they are all regular customers) and I went through the drive-thru of a Kalamazoo, Mich. location with my sister and our two li'l ones in the backseat. We ordered and after some friendly banter at the menu board, it took a couple of minutes for our order to be ready - in all honesty, we were the only car in line at the drive-thru at that time, and we didn't notice it taking an inordinate amount of time anyway. Before our drinks were ready, the drive-thru worker gave us a card for a free drink to make up for our wait. I was shocked. We didn't make any comments or ask for it; this was just offered to us, and it had only been about 120 seconds longer than it should have taken. So on top of drinking a good, unique latte and having a pleasant experience, our time and patronage were valued. On that first trip when I tried Biggby, I returned through the drive-thru the following three mornings! I've been hooked and visit Biggby now everytime we're in the vicinity, and although that may only be a couple of times a year, our frequent beverage card will likely be redeemed for a free drink on our next trip, and we live over 700 miles away! I'd love for Biggby to open a location in New Jersey - in part because they did one nice, unexpected thing for us.
Debbie Tenzer is on to something with her book about individuals committing to doing one nice thing a week, and how generosity is contagious. I've learned about Lands End's Feel Good sweater knitting campaign and was moved to not only purchase a sweater, but to register as a volunteer charitable knitter with Warming Families. If you're looking for ideas for ways to bring some joy to your own life or contribute to your community or those in need around the world, I recommend picking up Do One Nice Thing. I also encourage you to check out some of the other Mom's takes on Debbie's book when the nationwide monthly book club recap is posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog on Tuesday, September 29th.