Sometimes Disloyalty Just Makes Sense

Matthew Taylor of Mercury Espresso Bar - photo by Rene Johnston of The Toronto Star

*edit, January 7, 2016 – I will add an excerpt from Jennifer’s article and point out that Matthew long ago quit Mercury. I don’t know what he’s up to now. Mercury is still there, but it’s new owner is a fellow named Zion Forrest Lee. I don’t go to Mercury.

Disloyalty has its privileges – – by Jennifer Bain

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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Toronto’s first disloyalty card launches next week, promising to send people on a liquid tour of seven independent coffee shops. The counterculture scheme, to promote quality coffee and community, is the brainchild of the newly formed Toronto Coffee Conspiracy…

“We all have something great to offer and we all do it a little different,” promises Matthew Taylor, co-owner of Mercury Espresso Bar in Leslieville.

Taylor has long mused about collective action. Then he heard that 2009 World Barista champion Gwilym Davies had launched a “disloyalty” card late last year, promising to make people a free drink at his Prufrock Coffee once they visited eight independent coffee shops in East London.

Inspired, Taylor emailed Davies — as a gesture of respect — to say he’d love to replicate the card in Toronto. He got the okay, and on March 5 called six of his closest coffee friends to Dora Keogh pub on the Danforth to pitch the idea for the conspiracy and the card.

Toronto’s disloyalty card, set to launch April 20, works a little differently than London’s version.
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Hmm. Interesting stuff – to me. Let’s see what happens with this. As I mentioned on the Coffee Geek forum (regional/ Eastern/ Toronto section), where this ‘might’ get discussed more, it looks like the plan may have to be tweaked. What’s the timeframe for visits? Do all the shops have to be visited? So far there aren’t too many, but what happens when the Conspirators double or triple in number? Will it still be realistic to require that cardholders visit each of those shops? And good luck trying to honestly recommend or not recommend other local businesses near the respective shops.

As for me, I already do the thing that those guys are trying to encourage others to do. I’ve been to all the shops in the list. Some I go to regularly. Some I’ve only been into once. Mercury is one of them. But I roll by Mercury every day on the streetcar, so they get my attention. I noticed that they renovated and, since they do coffee right there, I’ll have to go in for a look see again. Just because.

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