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Author Topic: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.  (Read 18210 times)

stephendare

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Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« on: September 18, 2011, 04:06:46 PM »


Im not sure whats been happening at three layers lately, but I have to say that the management of the cafe seems intent on closing it down.

The place has always been a bit pricy, but not to the point where you would complain about it, after all most people want to support a small business, especially in an emerging area like springfield.

You just realize that you are paying a 'support' tax when you go to it, and you hand over the extra dollar per item that you wouldnt have to pay elsewhere in order to do a good deed.  Kind of like giving the extra change at Publix or buying a three dollar hershey's chocolate bar for the baseball team.

Metrojacksonville's public meetings used to be at Three Layers on Tuesday Night, and we all paid ten dollars for a soda and a small bowl of chili or a single dessert or whatever, but we had to stop having them there when our meetings were pre empted by very loud karaoke and we were told that metrojacksonville people could meet during karaoke, but we had to go to the back room where there is no service, bus our own tables, sweep the floors, and reset the chairs or we would have to pay a rental fee.  It was just too much. Anywhere between 5 and 22 people would show up paying superpremium prices for the fare at three layers, but if we wanted to meet during the hours in which the employees were singing karaoke, there would be an additional charge.

Instead we opted for Pizza Palace in San Marco, where there is a full dinner deal for 8 dollars, plenty of comfortable seating, and no one putting a speaker literally on our table and blasting old madonna tunes through a crappy amp on a portable sound system.

It made all the difference, and our meeting, which generated between 50 and four hundred dollars in sales each week is now welcomed and anticipated by the gracious san marconians.

I live in springfield, and love Shawn and Jeff, and have a real sympathy for the travails of cafe ownership in springfield, so even though we had to (regretfully) cancel our meetings there, I still frequent the joint.

I got the surprise of my life today while grabbing a regular cup of coffee.

A large cup of regular coffee comes to about three dollars. (2.77 to be exact, but you are expected to tip for the counter service, and so it actually comes to four dollars even, if you tip a dollar on principle as I usually do) In the rest of America, even the chintziest places provide one free refill, and most simply refill the cup.  However, the manager of Three Layers has instituted a new rule in which every refill on coffee is a dollar.

So for four dollars,  you can get a cup of regular coffee at three layers, plus the traditional refill.

This is ridiculous and is having the anticipated effect on the three layers crowd.

Where the place used to be busy all the time, with people in the joint online, reading, chatting and the like, now the place is nearly deserted everytime I go in.

People are willing to pay a premium on products if there is something that draws them, and for the first couple of years, the energy of other springfielders hanging out at the place gave the cafe a 'third space' status that people were willing to pay a little bit more for.

But with that energy mostly missing on a daily basis, the only time that the place is hopping is when there is a scheduled event.  Even Goliath Flores drew a mediocre crowd today, despite his neighborhood popularity and the wonderful weather.

When I asked staff about the egregious gouging, they told me that everyone has been bitterly and vocally complaining, but that the management refuses to take the word of mere staff for it.

Ive spent a lot of years in and out of the hospitality business, and I have rarely seen this kind of situation work out.

Hopefully someone corrects this nonsensical management strategy, as three layers is literally the last place left in the neighborhood where there is a semi comfortable and appealing environment.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 04:12:18 PM by stephendare »
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77danj7

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 04:32:17 PM »
I may be way late on this but is Jeff still around?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 04:34:10 PM by 77danj7 »

peestandingup

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 04:42:18 PM »
Its unfortunate, because like you, we have also been going quite regularly for years (basically since the joint opened) & have noticed the trend. We also love Shawn & Jeff (the owners for those who dont know), and not to name names, but the specific management team there that they have appointed is really phoning it in & screwing the place. Its been like that for a while now. We're friends with some ex-employees, and you wouldn't believe some of the shenanigans they've pulled. But like I said, I dont want to get into too many specifics (because I dont want to hurt their business & hope they remain in the area). Ultimately though its Shawn & Jeff's call, so you kinda have to look to them as well. Its their place after all.

I agree. Thats just way WAY too much for the coffee that they serve. Its not speciality coffee, they don't roast their own beans & its made using a standard coffee machine. So I'm not really sure why they think its worth that.

We also have to remember that these guys did buy at the height of the market as well & sorta got in at the same time that a lot of the (now gone bust) investors did over there, so maybe they're just trying to keep the place going & are forced to raise their prices. That's certainly a possibility because if you know those guys, you know that that building isn't the only one they own & isn't their only project. Also, they're never there anymore. I believe Jeff had to take a full time job somewhere else?? So there's really no ultimate authority anymore like there used to be. It was basically Jeff's baby for a long time.

Coupled with all of that, plus the fact that they recently scaled back their hours & don't open until 10am now (for a coffee house, that's pretty late), it's not outside the realm of possibility to think that they may be struggling. I hope they pull it together, because they seem like good guys. Plus, and quite frankly, all the other coffee houses/shops around here suck.

avs

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2011, 04:49:13 PM »
I have heard many people complain about the management that they have hired.  Many do not go there anymore because of the management.  SS used to have our board meetings there too, but have them at Shanty now, also because of the price.  Many neighbors used to go to trivia too (which I know interfered with the metrojacksonville meetings too, sorry), but when they took the trivia away and introduced karaoke, many neighbors were upset by that.  I know they say there was no profit made at trivia, but anytime we played it was always packed.  In fact, one of our team members would go like two hours early to get a table.  When they stopped trivia a lot of people were upset by that too.

I have tried many times to go around 9 am too for a cup of coffee and a danish or something, but they open at 10 now.

I have also heard people say they don't like the fact that Duke's is not on tap there anymore

I love the business, but I have to agree with what my neighbors are saying about the management.  I have also seen real uprofessional behavior from the management toward repeat, good neighbor customers.  $4 coffee is not good either.  I want it to stay in business though.  Shawn and Jeff are great and the business is great for SPR
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 04:59:49 PM by avs »

ChriswUfGator

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 05:11:06 PM »
I quit going there altogether.

Pretty much everything in the dessert case except Jeff Squares is straight from the bakery counter at Publix, but double the price. Someone even has photographs floating around on this forum busting them with pics of the Publix bakery items and corresponding 3 Layers items. Which are identical. The coffee was never all that good, I used to go to the wine bar, and to MJ meetings. But then there was karaoke, and when there wasn't karaoke there was trivia, etc. You can't have a conversation there anymore. I tried going for lunch but it was like $16 for a drink and a sandwich I was expected to put together myself, and they never gave me a knife to cut the croissant. So what I got was a breakfast croissant with a side of tuna salad. So, yeah, I just quit going altogether. I hate saying that, because I like supporting local businesses and hope they succeed, but there's just no point anymore, something has been really irritiating there like the last ten times I went. It's not worth it.


peestandingup

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 05:29:19 PM »
Well, since Chris already said it. Basically everything besides a couple of the cakes (the three layered ones) is straight from Publix & Sam's Club. EVERYTHING. Marked up to hell & back. :o

I understand that everything needs markup to make a profit, but not to the point that it is. Especially when most of the stuff is generic off the shelf items. Who knows why they mark it up so high.

But its probably like I said, maybe they have to in order to get by. Which I could swallow. What I can't swallow is the management putting off so many people & the overall "we don't give a shit" attitude they're sporting.

stephendare

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2011, 05:38:44 PM »
well apparently these sentiments are boiling in the neighborhood.  Ive gotten a boxful of private emails about it since I posted this, and then its also being reposted on facebook.

Quote
Al Bond
Did you see this, Josh? Maybe they'll finally get wise and hire new management before it tanks!
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

Dashing Dan

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 06:11:54 PM »
I hardly ever go to Springfield.  I've been to Three Layers only one time.  The one time I went there I thought it was fantastic.  I also like the Uptown Market.  I think I've been there three times.

Springfield has a whole different vibe from Riverside-Avondale and the rest of Jacksonville, and I like that vibe.

I think all of the neighborhoods need each other.  On a short term basis, what can be done to help Springfield?
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.  - Benjamin Franklin

shawnsoldit

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 06:20:31 PM »
  This is Shawn Owner of three layers.  It is a shame that metrojacksonvile has taken to bash my small business.  In the past it has been such a nice support. 

To answer a few of the the outlandish remarks...just for fun...because truly they are ridiculous and anyone who owns a small business, knows me and Jeff and our team of dedicated people  know better. 

I will let the $4 cup of coffee remark speak to its own idiocy.  Our large cup of coffee is $2.77.  I pay my staff above minimum wage so you can tip if you like, However do not add this to the cost of my drink.

Perhaps Metrojacksonville is offended as I was "warned" that they were not happy....I received some rambling email about how someone from their staff felt "judged" that they were not spending enough money in my establishment. It turns out this person was buying one cup of house coffee.$1.91....in which we offer TWO FREE refills. (This currently IS the policy.,..always has been the policy...will remain the policy)   He said that everytime he walked to the counter to refill his cup they were sneering at him?  He then insisted on two free refills on a large to go cup of coffee...after being explained previously that if you buy a large coffee in a TO GO container...it does not warrant two free refills of a LARGE coffee...if you happen to stay. This is what promted his email to me. 
So let me get this right...you use my business as your mobile office for up to six hours a day.your clients come in and out.....relax on my leather sofa, suck off my FREE wi fi in an airconditioned environment...then you do the best you can to take as much from my small business as possible.  When called to task by my manager when she follows policy about charging you $1.00 to refill a to go cup...suddenly we have poor management...and when the owner does not respond to your email because he is in Pennsylvania dealing with a dying brother...you start a bogus thread with lies...about our pricing and our commitment to Springfield and downtown revitalization as a whole.  I will give it to you... you warned me in the email that you would go to EVERY site and post how bad we are...I just didn't think it would be on MetroJax..and am disappointed.

As far as Metrojax and their weekly board meetings.  One of the reasons they liked to have their board meetings at three layers on Tuesday was because we were DEAD and it was quiet.  I attempted to change that so I could meet my expenses...by adding Karaoke...apologized that it disrupted there meeting, and then asked them if they would like to use the special events room at no charge...but asked them to clean it up after they left.  I thought that was reasonable and am miffed that they see it otherwise.

As far as the change of hours...no one came..and those that did however grateful we were for their business, did not warrant keeping early hours.  In the beginning I saw our little coffeehouse that could,  as being the stopping point for all before work...it simply wasn't.  When we opened the business...we were open at 7...then switched to 8 and now 10.  Economics forced us to serve lunch...forced us to serve beer and wine...forced Jeff back to work therefore we went from more of a Coffeehouse Bakery to a Cafe.

Most of our pastries are made in house.  If you want things that are specifically made at three layers just ask..we'll tell you which ones.  All 13 variety of cakes are ours..Jeff squares.. coffeecake...English muffin bread...brownies and cookies are all ours.  There are some items that we do not make and purchase from a wholesale bakery and our prices are what they are to keep the doors open.

There was some notion above at profit?!  Nice try.  Jeff and I have been working two jobs and dipping into our savings since we opened the place trying to make a special place in Springfield a success story. Which makes threads like this that much more upsetting.  STEP UP OH WISE ONES...show us how it's done...we will kindly follow YOUR lead. 

Until then we are just two guys from Atlanta with no restaraunt experience doing the best we can to keep our heads above water.  We would appreciate it if the bashing would stop.
Shawn McGuire
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Oasis, The GLBT Center of Northeast Florida

stephendare

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 06:39:22 PM »
  This is Shawn Owner of three layers.  It is a shame that metrojacksonvile has taken to bash my small business.  In the past it has been such a nice support. 

To answer a few of the the outlandish remarks...just for fun...because truly they are ridiculous and anyone who owns a small business, knows me and Jeff and our team of dedicated people  know better. 

I will let the $4 cup of coffee remark speak to its own idiocy.  Our large cup of coffee is $2.77.  I pay my staff above minimum wage so you can tip if you like, However do not add this to the cost of my drink.

Perhaps Metrojacksonville is offended as I was "warned" that they were not happy....I received some rambling email about how someone from their staff felt "judged" that they were not spending enough money in my establishment. It turns out this person was buying one cup of house coffee.$1.91....in which we offer TWO FREE refills. (This currently IS the policy.,..always has been the policy...will remain the policy)   He said that everytime he walked to the counter to refill his cup they were sneering at him?  He then insisted on two free refills on a large to go cup of coffee...after being explained previously that if you buy a large coffee in a TO GO container...it does not warrant two free refills of a LARGE coffee...if you happen to stay. This is what promted his email to me. 
So let me get this right...you use my business as your mobile office for up to six hours a day.your clients come in and out.....relax on my leather sofa, suck off my FREE wi fi in an airconditioned environment...then you do the best you can to take as much from my small business as possible.  When called to task by my manager when she follows policy about charging you $1.00 to refill a to go cup...suddenly we have poor management...and when the owner does not respond to your email because he is in Pennsylvania dealing with a dying brother...you start a bogus thread with lies...about our pricing and our commitment to Springfield and downtown revitalization as a whole.  I will give it to you... you warned me in the email that you would go to EVERY site and post how bad we are...I just didn't think it would be on MetroJax..and am disappointed.

As far as Metrojax and their weekly board meetings.  One of the reasons they liked to have their board meetings at three layers on Tuesday was because we were DEAD and it was quiet.  I attempted to change that so I could meet my expenses...by adding Karaoke...apologized that it disrupted there meeting, and then asked them if they would like to use the special events room at no charge...but asked them to clean it up after they left.  I thought that was reasonable and am miffed that they see it otherwise.

As far as the change of hours...no one came..and those that did however grateful we were for their business, did not warrant keeping early hours.  In the beginning I saw our little coffeehouse that could,  as being the stopping point for all before work...it simply wasn't.  When we opened the business...we were open at 7...then switched to 8 and now 10.  Economics forced us to serve lunch...forced us to serve beer and wine...forced Jeff back to work therefore we went from more of a Coffeehouse Bakery to a Cafe.

Most of our pastries are made in house.  If you want things that are specifically made at three layers just ask..we'll tell you which ones.  All 13 variety of cakes are ours..Jeff squares.. coffeecake...English muffin bread...brownies and cookies are all ours.  There are some items that we do not make and purchase from a wholesale bakery and our prices are what they are to keep the doors open.

There was some notion above at profit?!  Nice try.  Jeff and I have been working two jobs and dipping into our savings since we opened the place trying to make a special place in Springfield a success story. Which makes threads like this that much more upsetting.  STEP UP OH WISE ONES...show us how it's done...we will kindly follow YOUR lead. 

Until then we are just two guys from Atlanta with no restaraunt experience doing the best we can to keep our heads above water.  We would appreciate it if the bashing would stop.

Shawn

This is Stephen Dare, and I truly do like and appreciate both you and Jeff. 

Im sorry that you have chosen to react in anger at the criticism rather than accept it for what it is.  People (including myself) want your place to succeed.

But the recent changes since you and Jeff have stopped being at the cafe are the wrong direction, and people are not just complaining about it, but you have lost their business.

2.77 for a cup of coffee plus 1.00 for a refill is 3.77.  I agree with you that this is idiocy.

Hence this thread.

Today is the first time that I personally have ever heard of the new pricing.  Your manager was no where around, and your employees said that they have continually tried to communicate that people are unhappy with the change which they said was about 3 or 4 months old.  Again, I have no idea if they were correct, but that is what I was told today.

But this is being widely discussed in the neighborhood.  As is evidenced by the other comments in this thread and on facebook.

You can do what you like with your restaurant/cafe.  All I can say is that this response has definitely lost you a supporter and (another) customer.

The service at your restaurant has gotten increasingly ruder, incidentally.  I listened to a couple of truly outrageous stories about it today.  Perhaps you should do the same.

And I mean this in love and with well wishes Shawn.

Stephen.
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

gogators07

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2011, 06:46:59 PM »
Stephen really is a troll Shawn.

Don't worry about it.


thelakelander

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2011, 06:48:58 PM »
  This is Shawn Owner of three layers.  It is a shame that metrojacksonvile has taken to bash my small business.  In the past it has been such a nice support.

Just to clear things up, Metro Jacksonville has not bashed Three Layers or any other small business.  This is a regular forum thread that happens to be some concerns made by Stephendare as an individual.  Anything our actual staff takes a uniform position on is posted on the front page as an main story.

acme54321

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2011, 06:52:50 PM »
Im sorry that you have chosen to react in anger at the criticism rather than accept it for what it is.  People (including myself) want your place to succeed.

LOL... what did you expect from your post?  I'm sure that picture (from troll.me ironically) was really meant to aid in you "constructive" criticism. 

peestandingup

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 06:57:23 PM »
Shawn, I don't know what went on between MetJax members & you (thats between you all as far as I'm concerned). But I think mostly what people are talking about here isn't so much bashing as it is concern. Seems to me everyone likes you guys & wants the business to continue. But I think there may be a disconnect about what you see & what a lot of patrons see. You may simply not realize it since you guys aren't around so much, but trust me that there are problems, things that in reality don't match up to what you say (or what the official rules are) & some ugly attitudes as well.

To be clear, I'm not in cahoots with anyone on this forum (I dont even know them really) & didn't know there was any drama that went down. I'm just telling you what I personally see & am responding to a thread. Not to bash, but to inform so that the business recognizes these problems & continues success. :)

thekillingwax

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Re: Three Layers introduces four dollar cup of regular coffee.
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2011, 07:07:09 PM »
I mentioned a while back that I didn't really like where everything was headed and kinda got jumped on for it (the stale publix cupcakes that were something insane like $3 and pretty blah coffee). How times have changed, I guess. I really stopped frequenting once they started expanding everything. I was happy for their growth but it lost that kinda cozy friendly feeling that I liked. The original crew of servers were really nice and friendly, I gave it another try about six months ago but the cashier was enough of a dick for me to write it off forever.