Back when I was in library school and working full time, ThreeFifty Bakery opened and became my home away from home on Sundays. A mug of coffee and a chocolate croissant got me through some long days of homework. There’s not much better than supporting a local business, especially when that business is a two minute walk from your house.
Unfortunately, while it is only two minutes from my house, it is in the opposite direction of almost everywhere I go. And I’m cheap. So after I finished library school (actually, after they got popular enough that it became difficult to find a table to do work–very good for them!, less good for me) I didn’t support them as much as I should have.
Come the pandemic, they developed a good outdoor set-up, and I tried to support them once a week. I bought a gift card back in the period where that was a Thing To Do to support local businesses, got a latte and chocolate croissant every so often, and then lost my job.
Supporting local businesses requires more effort than getting one’s fancy coffee fix at a chain. The chains have apps that send you notifications every other day: come in two days and a row and get 50 bonus points! and other such enticements. Plus, remember what I’ve said about liking my coffee extra sweet? My standard vanilla latte at ThreeFifty Bakery just doesn’t thrill me the way the major chain vanilla latte a block further away does.
BUT! Last time I was there, when I spent the end of my gift card, before getting a job offer (I start tomorrow), I ordered a caramel latte, and all is well with the world.
ALSO! ThreeFifty Bakery may not have the apps and deals that Starbucks, Peets, Panera, and Pret a Manger have, but they, like other local businesses, have a thing with Square, and there is a text message waiting for me on my phone following this morning’s order of a latte and croissant, touting that I have a reward of some sort.
ThreeFifty is my closest coffee, and while they are nowhere close to the least expensive, I am glad that they now have rewards to help me maximize my coffee value while supporting a local business.
PS They also have lots of other baked goods, including a wide variety of quiches. They don’t have indoor seating at the moment, but if you need something a bit more than a baked good and less than a full lunch, I recommend checking them out.