Sunday, October 25, 2015

Luck of the Coffee Drinker

Used to be, Mom bought our clothes at Robert Hall and food at the A & P supermarket, home of lost or now rare enchantments such as the Spanish Bar Cake and red tins of Eight o' Clock Coffee, alongside the foreign and fascinating adults-only object (pictured) resembling a nautical speed control but engraved with weird, haunting, perhaps mystical words; Mom never used it. Today I stock only 2 brands of ground coffee: Eight o' Clock, and Chock Full o' Nuts. These passions are old, deeply set, and based solely on the names and packaging. At eight a.m., all things are possible; I still believe that. Out east, the franchise "Chock Full o' Nuts," so named because it started as a chain of roasted-nut shops in Manhattan, has sold coffee and pastries since 1932. In New England I became addicted to Chock Full coffee, rare and expensive in Missouri, consistently available at only one classy St. Louis grocery at $6-$8 for a small can. I remedied this by ordering a case of the regular coffee direct from Chock Full; the green-lidded decaf was harder to find.

I drink more of the decaf now, when I can get it. The last tin I bought is tagged $6.49. So last week in a supermarket in House Springs I'm stunned to see the "marked down" shelf holding 5 cans of Chock Full decaf at $2.99 each. Ecstatically I bought them all. It was the best luck I had all day.
Selling it here isn't easy because the Chock Full franchise, still active, never extended west of Chicago and the name causes folks to believe the coffee contains nuts. It does not.

It might be the "o"s in the middle of Eight o' Clock and Chock Full o' Nuts  that have so entangled my coffee-drinkin' heart.

1 comment:

Pablo said...

Spanish Bar Cake! Thanks for the memory.