I frequently work in coffee shops (locally and when I travel) and I have been thinking about the things they really should sell. They often sell mugs, teapots, very small french presses, boxes of tea picked by virgins, and cuddly bears. I can honestly say I have never needed any of that stuff while drinking my flat white and writing down ideas. If I ran a coffee shop these are the things I would sell:

1. Little notebooks, like field notes or scout books – I’d probably get the coffee shop logo printed on scout books (but then I’m like that). There isn’t much worse than realizing you don’t have a piece of paper on which to capture your genius.

2. Pens. (gel ink please) The thing that’s worse than not having a notebook is having a notebook and not having a pen. Pens are needed to drink coffee.

3. Individual Screen Wipes – I never realize my screen is filthy before I open my laptop in the coffeehouse, and then I forget again when I leave – until next time. If they had handy little wipes or clothes I could purchase I would buy endless amounts of the useful little things.

4. Computer Decals. I notice more and more people with a collection of decals on their laptops. Forget t-shirts, coffee shops should sell their own decals – yes, their logos. Those people who travel and work from cool coffee shops want to show others – it’s like a guitar case for a musician. As yet I don’t know any coffee shops that sell decals of their logos – I have a feeling they would sell really well.

5. Headphones. We forget them, we lose them, the dog chews them, the kids ‘borrow’ them, we break them, we need some – then and there.  I’ll even buy the cheap ones (see line that begins “we forget them… “)

6. Mints. For when we are on our way to client meetings straight from the coffeehouse and don’t want our breath to smell that way.

What do you think they should sell in coffeehouses?