Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Homer's in USA Today

Check out this article from the AP. It was picked up in papers all over the country.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Christmas is this week. And you know what that means. Shopping.

From Thanksgiving until Christmas all you hear about is shopping. From Target to car dealerships to jewelry stores, every retailer is trying to get a piece of the shopping pie. I'm sure we've all seen commercials telling us our wives need a new diamond necklace and our kids need the newest fancy toy with blinking lights and sirens. As I celebrate my 25th Christmas, I see how I've believed this lie told to us by retailers and advertisers. We've been told the way to express love to our family is to buy them things they don't need. Ignore the fact that the toy truck you bought for Junior was made in China, where factory workers make almost nothing, have no health care, no unions, and don't get bathroom breaks. Ignore the fact that the fun scarf you bought for your niece was made in India, where factories don't have to worry about pollution standards and child labor laws are basically nonexistant. You NEED the truck and you NEED the scarf, otherwise how will you express love to your family?

This year I've been thinking a lot about where my money goes, I've tried to consider what a retailer hides from me about what I buy, but it's almost impossible not to compromise certain values living in America in 2008 (almost 2009). Peace on Earth and Good Will towards Man should mean more to us than peace in our house because everybody got what they wanted for Christmas. We should think about peace for the cashier at Wal-Mart and good will towards the factory worker in China. Are the shopping choices we make moving us towards these ideals or not?

I don't think retail stores are evil or we shouldn't buy products made in foreign lands, but we should hold the people we buy things from to a high standard. I hope people hold me to a high standard at Homer's. I get excited when people ask me if our coffee is fair trade and would expect our customers to be angry if they found out I was mistreating our staff. I've done my best so far to buy products from businesses who have the same values we do, but we still have a long way to go. It's extremely difficult to find a reasonable price on things like paper cups, cleaning supplies, and napkins without buying them at a big box chain and buying imports. One item I'm particularly excited we now offer is our quiche, made by a local Kansas City baker who has similar ideals to ours. Offering the quiche is a small step in the right direction for us.

I would encourage all of us to make wise choices with our money. What you buy with a dollar impacts people all over the world. Peace on Earth. Good Will towards Men.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2009,
Glenn Winkler

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I'm a huge fan of snow. I love the way it looks, feels, and everything about it. When you're a kid, is there anything better than going to bed with the possibility of a snow day when you wake up? My mom always told me that if I did all my homework, then the schools would probably close the next day and I could enjoy the snow day, but if I didn't do my homework in anticipation of a snow day, the schools would be open. Somehow this always seemed to be the case.

Personally, it bothers me when the local news stations predict snow with a negative tone as if it's a bad thing. I think if the media portrayed snow as a positive development, the community would react similarly.

Even though we're all grown up now and have to work and drive regardless of weather conditions, we should get excited about snow like we did when we were kids. Enjoy the weather today.

I'm hoping for a lot of snow this winter (and that you'll need a Homer's Mexican Mocha to keep you warm).


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ezekiel 3:12 Project

Last night the newest version of the Jimmy Nickelsen band, The Ezekiel 3:12 Project, played to a packed house at Homer's. It was a great night of music.

Jimmy's band was one of the first to play at Homer's after I started working here in June. Immediately I was impressed by the band's talent and knew they would be a favorite of mine. When I scheduled a few more shows, John Altevogt, the bands bass player, informed me that the band would be adding a member and changing it's name to The Ezekiel 3:12 Project. I can safely say that the band just got better. Jason (I don't know the last name) joined as a second guitarest and singer for their show last night and it sounded like they'd been together for years already. An acoustic version of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" was a highlight for me.

You should definately check out this band when they come back in January.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm a lazy blogger

It was pointed out to me today that this blog hasn't been updated lately.

So here's random thoughts from me, Glenn Winkler, about Homer's:

My new favorite drink is a triple shot of espresso with whipped cream. OH YEAH!

I actually enjoy wiping down tables. I love the way they shine!

I still stink at making latte art, especially when people are watching. TOO MUCH PRESSURE!

I'm not surprised how well the quiche has been selling. Who doesn't like a delicious quiche?

Black coffee is usually how I start my day, no cream, no sugar, just coffee.

Cutting Tiramasu is a job better left to Vanessa, I always mess it up.

We get our milk and some other supplies from Sam's, sometimes they have samples. That equals free food for me.

I have to go to the dentist in 30 minutes. I HATE THE DENTIST. Maybe I'll reward myself when I get back with a triple shot with whipped cream......

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


There's no place to hide in an Americano.

An Americano is one of the simplest drinks we make at Homer's. It's just Espresso and hot water. But it's also one of the most difficult to get right. With flavored drinks, like a mocha, the chocolate is the dominant flavor. But with an Americano, there is no flavor to hide a bad shot of espresso and no milk to soften the bitterness of espresso. It's all about getting a good shot pulled.

Yesterday I had a customer who frequents coffee shops all over town tell me that our Americanos are the best in the city when served in a ceramic mug. Maybe he was just trying to flatter me, but that doesn't fit the personality of this guy.

You might try our Americano and decide there's a better one someplace else, you might like ours the best. Either way, you can be sure our baristas are committed to making great espresso. Come try an Americano (it's the patriotic thing to do).


Friday, October 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The lights went out, the band played on

I knew that it was going to be a big night.

On Saturday, August 23rd we had two artists new to Homer's playing. Abi Robins, a folk singer, had been coming to our Monday night jam session, Pickin' on the Patio, for some time and we were excited to have her play. Margo May and the Honeybabes were also on the bill for the first time at Homer's, and I knew their fans would fill up the coffee house. By the time Abi started playing at 7:30, every seat was filled and it was a standing room only show. Abi was playing, the crowd was engaged, the baristas were making drinks, all was well. Then, as Abi started her last song of the night, I saw the bank across the street go dark, our lights flickered, the Rio Theater went dark, and we lost power also. The sound system went silent, the lights were off, and all our equipment shut down. My first thought was that we had flipped a breaker with from using so much power (air conditioner, blenders, sound system, fridges, espresso machine, etc.) but I was informed that a car had hit a light pole on Metcalf and knocked out the power on the street, many of our customers had seen the transformer explode. I asked everyone to move outside for safety reasons, and doubted Margo would get to play.

As I was preparing an apology to Margo in my head, the lights came back on! We moved back inside and Margo May and the Honeybabes played a great show. We were thankful the power was only out for a few minutes and we didn't have to cut the show short.

Two great performances. One Power outage. It was a memorable night.