Quest for Coffee

french-truckMy wife and I are both off work today and tomorrow which meant last night was the start of our weekend and like all good Americans we we decided to go out to dinner and unwind on our “Friday night.” Relax, this isn’t another food review blog, but I just need to give you some background info on the meal so you can understand the importance of the story. We went to Chili’s, a staple in the “kick off your weekend” culture but last night’s meal was incredibly disappointing and left us with a bad taste in our mouth both literally and figuratively. It was an unacceptable start to the weekend and something had to be done to rectify the situation and that’s when it hit me. I knew exactly what I needed to erase the terrible tastes from my mouth and end the night on a high note, a good cup of coffee. The weak tasting Maxwell House sitting in our kitchen would not do, but rather I needed some strong coffee that was actually a pleasure to drink rather than something I drank out of habit and I knew exactly what kind of coffee was required.

Since I started working at Kitchenette at the beginning of last month we have served the best coffee I may have ever tasted. It is called French Truck Coffee and is roasted locally here in Memphis and I knew that is what I needed last night so as my wife and I left Chili’s I told her I needed to swing by Kroger and pick up some of that delicious coffee. It may seem naive to think that a local coffee would be at a giant chain grocery store but I was sure I’d find it there as one of my coworkers told me several times that he’d bought it there. I walked into the grocery store and after several minutes of confusion wandering through the horrible layout of Kroger I strode confidently down the coffee aisle. My eyes expectantly scanned the shelves of delicious smelling beans looking for the French Truck label I just knew would be there. It wasn’t there and that is when my wife looked on their website and told me that while their coffee is sold at local Kroger’s the one we were currently in was not one of them. I’m not proud of this but I give up on things pretty easily and was about to buy pick out another coffee to try and fill the hole inside me but my wife brought me to my senses and said there was another Kroger less than fifteen minutes away that sold the coffee that I was so craving.

We drove through the night and a few minutes later pulled up to Kroger number two. We entered and after a few minutes of confusion wandering through the horrible layout of the grocery store I walked confidently down the coffee aisle. There was the same excitement and hope in my eyes as I’d had less than half an hour previously as I scanned the shelves and once again the same disappointment filled me as I realized that they didn’t have French Truck coffee. I asked two employees if they carried the product and one told me she didn’t know and walked away and the other told me he didn’t know and there probably wasn’t anyone in the entire store at that time of night (9 pm) who could help me. You gotta love Kroger’s dedication to customer service. As we were about to leave we spotted the organic section and I thought maybe just maybe the coffee was hiding there. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was organic since a lot of the products we sell at work are, but after a brief stop and scan it was evident that it was not there, so we left. At this point a lot of people may have given up and gone home as it was just coffee after all, but after two unsuccessful stops at Kroger this had turned personal and the night just had to have a positive ending.

The next Kroger we found that was supposed to have the coffee was just a quick ten minutes down the road and when we got there as we repeated our routine of walking around in confusion because of the horrible layout I heard my name being called out behind me. It was my uncle who lives in the area and it was nice to see a familiar face in a very unfamiliar place and since that was his Kroger I felt confident he could help me in locating the coffee aisle. After a few minutes of aimlessly wandering and looking up at the signs on the aisles we spotted it, aisle six, and we thanked him for his help, and he wished us luck on our quest and said goodbye before we were off, walking confidently towards our destiny. My eyes darted back and forth desperately searching for French Truck coffee but I didn’t see it here either, but luckily an employee was stocking the coffee on the shelf so if anyone knew where it was it should certainly be this man. I asked him and in a very Krogerly way he said “no, never heard of it.” I asked if there was anywhere else that coffee might be like an end cap or a display and he didn’t know, but why would he, he only worked there. As we were walking about to leave I spotted the glorious display holding the coffee I had been searching for. It felt like one of the biggest victories I’d ever experienced in my life as I held the bag to my nose and took in the wonderful aroma of the great coffee.

I felt like a million bucks as I walked to the self checkout and began the process of ownership of the delicious beans. Although I had been more to Kroger that night than I had been in the three months I’d been here it was well worth it to have a bag of French Truck coffee. I’m sure there are other people, like me who have been bitten by the bug and can only be cured with a delicious cup of coffee but have difficulty finding it because of its place in the grocery store. I’m not sure why it isn’t with the rest of the coffee but it’s not so when you don’t find it there, don’t give up hope but rather extend your search to the far corners of your local Kroger, for if you seek then you shall find.

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