How Would Your Team Handle This Uncomfortable Challenge?


I facilitated a staff meeting a couple of months ago that WOWED me at Lady and The Mug, a new boutique specialty coffee shop in Coral Springs, Florida. I never got around to writing an article, but with the excitement from the team at our December meeting, I knew it was time to share.

First, here is the company’s mission

We are a specialty coffee shop with a passion for people and quality, providing a place for everyone to feel appreciated, valued, and inspired.

A mission statement can seem impressive, but how would most employees or customers describe the company?

Below are two questions I asked, and the employees’ responses;

Why should the public choose LADY & THE MUG?

  • We CARE about our Guests and show that by conversing with them
  • We consciously work to create a pleasant experience for the guest
  • Our coffee is the highest of quality and the best
  • We created an atmosphere that our guests love
  • Fun – we sponsor events for the community and our guests. From book signings to charity events
  • We are different because we don’t just serve, we focus on continual improvement
  • We make our shop a home away from home. Mothers say it is their getaway; students find it a warm environment for study; business owners make our store a meeting place; and everyone enjoys the ambiance, it’s something for everyone.
  • We are unique. Unique environment, fun activities and we participate in having fun.
  • We check on guests. We make sure the guest is happy.
  • People love Aimee. (Aimee is the owner) She is charming and funny.
  • People have formed relationships here, with other guests and us.

What do you like about working with Lady & The Mug?

  • Feel accepted, appreciated and inspired
  • Enjoy the atmosphere, customers, and owner. Don’t dread going to work anymore.
  • Working here helped me get out of my comfort zone. I’m no longer shy.
  • Fun – I love going to work! And I like what I do!
  • Love my coworkers. We care about each other.
  • Making great connections.  Friendships with workers and guests.
  • Aimee makes it a fun place to work.
  • We love each other. Loyal friends at work!
  • We know if someone is ‘off.’ And we care enough to step in and ask questions, support.
  • Love and am passionate about the mission. We believe in the purpose.
  • The best coffee of all. True quality.
  • The décor is very warm and creative. People love being here, including us (employees).
  • Love talking to people and doing a good job.
  • I help some guests feel better by forming relationships.
  • Love to make their day and help people feel at ease
  • I wanted to work here because I loved this place before I started looking for a job.

Of course, as all businesses, Lady & The Mug has routine hiccups to overcome.  For example, our confidential employee survey revealed that a couple employees were unsettled about a recent directive.

The entire team was scheduled to work an event where they would transport, welcome, and feed the homeless a complete hot meal in their adorable shop for Christmas.  They also would hand out donated clothing and other helpful items.  This company does a lot to give back, and employees are aware of this commitment when interviewed.  This event, however, was a bit uncomfortable for some.

Just about everyone told Aimee (owner) not to do this, but she was determined and was not to be stopped.

Aimee was at first frustrated with this feedback but listened and found a winning solution. She supported those that did not choose to work; ensured (as always) the safety of those that did; and continued to fulfill her mission.

It not only worked out well –  the event was a huge success – and remarkably, this December meeting was even more impressive than the one that WOWED me!  (Hmmm is that a DOUBLE WOW?)

The entire team was so very excited about the outcome of the event, they were almost rambling.  It was touching.  The homeless did not make anyone uncomfortable as some employees anticipated.  In fact, they were grateful, kind, well behaved and a pleasure to serve.  Aimee said they had some really great conversations.  She wanted them to know how valued they are, and many shared their stories.

Do you, like most of us who have a home with walls and running water, take it for granted?

One of the employees went on and on “Many of our regulars (customers) also just started helping.  It was like they planned to be there for the event. They (regular customers) even stayed to help us clean. I couldn’t believe what a great experience it was, and I was so happy I participated.  I was just afraid of what I didn’t know.”

Isn’t that typical?  We fear the unknown.  It is uncomfortable.  But for these young adults, it was also a great experience, as well as another fun bonding opportunity for the team.

The efforts of this business owner to give back to the community; to fulfill her mission statement; to provide superior service, and, make Lady & The Mug a great place to work is commendable.

It is such an honor (and FUN) to have them as a client. 

Lady & The Mug opened May 2017. Check out their reviews and ratings. Remarkable!  I’d say they are well on their way to a very successful outcome.

Possibly 2018 is an excellent opportunity to revisit values and culture.  To push, even when it is uncomfortable.  To say yes, when others say no or suggest your idea is not good.

Maybe 2018 is also a year to help teams grow professionally and compassionately. And, to increase service to the community.  Or easier said, to follow the lead of Aimee at Lady & The Mug.  https://www.ladyandthemug.com/

Happy New Year!


Need to grow? Raise the bar! Call Parone Group for strategies that motivate customers and employees to not only stay with you – but also highly recommend you to others. 

Let us help you and every member of your team boost the customer experience.

If your customers & employees can’t answer WHY YOU, then call us at 954-464-6689 or you can reach us through our website ParoneGroup.com . Be sure to ask about our 100% money back guarantee as well as our value-added no-cost services. Make the decision to make a difference today.