I read a book called the Automatic Millionaire and the author did the math on going out for coffee, even three times a week. in five years it amounted to something like 20,000$.
So I have lived in Penn Valley for 5 years, and I’m not saying I come to Caleb’s three times a week but I estimate that Jeromy Laurin, the owner has probably earned about 15 grand off my household. Between the ice cream and the bagels and the juices and the exceptionally awesome coffee, Jeromy has probably done quite well by us.
Downtown Penn Valley has a bunch of nothing in terms of places to hang out. Jeromy and his wife, Sarah, named their little ice cream and coffee shop after their son. Jeromy is probably one of the happiest people in Penn Valley, as far as I can tell. He laughs and manages to banter with even the grumpiest of retirees.
I’d say 90% of Jeromy’s customers are regulars, he seems to know pretty much everyone by name. When hipsters come in I feel tempted to ask them if they are lost and need directions.
There are two gentleman who occupy the barstools daily. They sort of remind me of over 65 versions of Jay and Silent Bob from the Kevin Smith movies. One of them just watches and they other one provides a running commentary. Silent Bob occasionally chimes in with: God, you are embarrassing. Eavesdropping at Caleb’s is highly entertaining.
It is a tradition at Caleb’s to read from the Union’s police blotter out loud.
last night: 8:27 pm a caller from the 200 block of Sutton Way reported her neighbor was attempting malicious mischief and was jumping up and down, causing light fixtures to break.
10:31pm a caller from the 1000 block of North Ponderosa Way reported coming home and finding her door open with the lights on. (really, nothing taken, nothing broken, still worthy of a call to the police, knowing full well it will show up in the blotter the next day?)
Often, the police are responding to a dispute over the existence of aliens or because someone’s livestock is too noisy. Seldom do the police arrive to discover the perpetrator still on the scene. It’s a really easy way for us to celebrate the fact that we live in a small ass town. There is also a poetic quality to the language which I think deserves a little recognition.
Regularly, politics comes up at Caleb’s but it never seems to get heated. Maybe the hardcore political conversations take places at June’s. It often seems to me that people agree more than they disagree, no matter where on the spectrum they happen to sit. It always seems to wrap up with a chuckle over how absurd the world is.
Sarah also owns the Blue Cow Deli down the street, so people will roll into Caleb’s in the morning, caffeinate, and then roll over to the Cow for a sandwich. There are probably even some people who roll back over to Caleb’s for ice cream. The Blue Cow is honestly the only restaurant I eat at in PV. It’s healthy and reasonably priced and fast. Sarah and Jeromy have a knack for hiring nice people.
I find that when I pick up Blossom from daycare, I have to distract her when we get close to Caleb’s or she will start intense negotiations for ice cream. I admit, I let her win.