09/05/2013 09:36 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Coffee Ahead of Its Time?


There could have been coffee houses around the country called Madeline's, for my mother, but I guess it was just not meant to be.

While Starbucks started in Seattle in 1971, I'm not sure we knew about it or even knew what the concept was in the early 1980s. That's when my mother came up with a coffee house/store concept and I didn't understand it.

One day, I must have been a teen, my mother came to me and said she had this idea for a coffee place; people would come in daily and buy coffee. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. I asked, "Coffee? Just coffee?" And she replied, "Well, they could buy tea, also."

I couldn't understand this. Coffee and tea. It reminded me of the old Scotchtape store on Saturday Night Live. She would open a place that sold coffee and tea. She then added that maybe she would add pastries and people could sit around and read the newspaper (there were no laptops or PCs then, people read newspapers).

She said she would like it to be next to our local supermarket (Publix) in that shopping center; only if I ran it with her, in other words, I would have to commit to being her partner. Since I didn't understand the concept, I was not quick to agree to help out and I think the whole concept died on the vine that way.

We had never heard of Starbucks and in Miami, where we live, there was nothing like that, I don't think she read it anywhere, I truly believe she came up with the concept out of the blue and I poo pooed it.

I feel bad now, but we always laugh about it when the subject comes up, so there are no hard feelings, but to think we could possibly have had Madeline's coffee shops around the country or Miami anyway. And when I really think about it, they most likely would have been bought out by Starbucks by this time, but who cares, we would be frolicking in the money now.