Coffee Shop Fieldnotes

I walked into the dimmed lit shop. The sign on the door read “Rival Bros Coffee Roasters” in a dark chocolate color against a white background. There was much noise coming from behind the counter with the baristas making coffees. The song “Mambo Number 5” was playing through the speaker. I laughed under my breath. I thought it was funny that they were playing that song. There weren’t a lot of people in the shop. I figured it might have been the time of day- it was 2 o’clock on a Monday. I was surprised though, I thought a lot of people would be in the shop getting their Monday fix of coffee. It was just a slow day…

There were two baristas behind the bar. One African American woman and one man. Both dressed in jeans are their own top. I noticed that there is no dress code, barley any sort of uniform. The girl had a nose piercing and the other kid behind the counter had a red tint in his hair. So, I am assuming dress code isn’t a strict rule since it’s a coffee shop.

Jonathan is tall, with such a friendly and charismatic personality. He too, was extremely welcoming. As soon as I shook his hand and introduced myself I felt very comfortable around him and in the space, overall. The interview took place right away. We sat in the corner of the coffee shop with three small knee height, circular coffee tables around us. I gently placed my phone down on the middle coffee table to record my audio. I placed my phone on the middle coffee table because that was the closest to Jonathan. I sat in a very unsteady chair diagonal from him and the camera was placed on top of the tripod, which was placed directly across from him. The interview lasted for about 35 minutes. I noticed that Jonathan talked a lot with his hands. He had a lot to say. There was never a silent moment. By the time the interview was over, I took note on the foot traffic. At that time, it was about 3;30 pm. Only three people came into the shop. I thought there would be more than that. But, like I mentioned before, Monday’s are slightly slow. Two men, dressed in suits, looked like they were on a lunch break came in. They both ordered two iced lattes. They were on their phones as they waited for their coffee. The barista yelled, “two iced lattes for Nick and Mike!” They didn’t stay. A few minutes later, an older woman came in. She was holding her black lab puppy, with the cutest eyes. She ordered a small cappuccino with non-fat milk. She stood by the counter and chatted with the barista. Her too, didn’t stay. After she got her drink, she left the shop with her pup. As she was leaving, she yelled “See you soon!” (I’m guessing she is a “regular”). I hope to become a regular….


I will be interviewing Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggii, the masters behind Rival Bros Coffee Roasters. They are both from Philadelphia and are not only the owners of Rival Bros, but they’re lifelong friends as well. It’s pretty cool. I will be interviewing them at their Rittenhouse Square location on Monday October 23rd at 2:00. I will be interviewing them both because they are the owners of the shops and they are both experienced in two different parts of the shop. Jonathan is a known as talented chef and Damien is known as a professional coffee roaster. I am looking to get both sides of their experiences as an owner. As I prepare for my first interview, I hope to employ several different effective communication strategies. As Potelli states, “Interviewers are responsible for the quality of their content and prepare accordingly, yet its effectiveness is on the interviewee”. I strongly believe that my interviewee’s will be capable of creating effective communicative content.  that Some of the topics that I hope to cover in the interview will be the history of their relationship with each other, their relationship with coffee and the history of getting into the coffee shop business.

            Woah, that went well. Leading up to my interview I was extremely nervous and eager. As I was driving into center city, on my way to the coffee shop I kept going over potential questions to start my interview off with. However, once I arrived the setting of the coffee shop was so relaxing and peaceful and, the baristas were welcoming. I felt a wave of calmness come over me.

I ordered an iced mocha latte and took a seat in the corner of the shop. I started to set up my things as I waited for Jonathan to arrive. About 15 minutes went by and he finally walked through the front entrance. I reached my hand out to meet his, we shook hands, smiled as I introduced myself. It was an exciting moment to finally meet face to face with him, instead of communicating via email messages. He went behind the counter, poured himself a cup of joe and then sat down across from me. We started the interview. We talked for a full 35 minutes. It was so natural and very conversational, not staged at all. I spent at least an hour and a half there. The baristas allowed me to watch their latte and cappuccino making process from behind the counter. It was such a thrilling experience. Everyone was so friendly, yet still professional. They also let me try different types of drinks from the menu for free. I left the shop we such a big smile on my face and I was very pleased with how natural the interview went and how detailed my photographs and audio came out. I followed up with a thank you email that I sent to Jonathan the following morning. I look forward to creating my project, and I told Jonathan I would send him the final!

Post 3-Fieldnotes

He caught my ear, as he shouted “Bro, I was so wasted last night!”.  He caught my eye, his hair was extremely curly and longer than mine. (Well, at least it looked longer than mine, but the measurements could be off). My head quickly spun around. This student really caught my attention. I felt the need to follow him all the way into Campion Student Center without hesitation.

As I walked behind him, his hair was tied up so high that I could barley see over the tight knot. He took the “man bun” to a whole new level. Him and his friends didn’t have a care in the world (they were probably hungover, on their way to get some Campion food in them to recharge their bodies).

I just wondered how long it took this kid to grow his hair out this long. I was so intrigued. His hair was so big, I’d call it an afro at this point. His curly chocolate brown hair was slicked back with a light blonde tint at the top. The blonde tint was tightly wrapped up in his man bun. The bun couldn’t get any tighter. It looks better than any other bun I have ever tried, thats for sure.

Post 2-Fieldnotes

The bacon filled air circled around the Campion Student Center every time a student opened and closed the door. I couldn’t tell if the smell bothered me or if I truly enjoyed the scent that early in the morning. Either way, I had to turn my attention to my other soundings. I needed to take my people watching skills to the next level during my field notes process. There were plenty of opportunity in the space that I was in because students were walking in and out of the Student Center every other minute or two. I have noticed that mostly every student does something so similar: he or she walks with their head down, looking at their phone.

Post 1-Fieldnotes

Fieldnotes practice (Campion Student Center)

As I sat outside of the Campion Student Center I noticed a total of about 55 young colleagues walk in and out of the space. Most of them were holding a bag or had a backpack strapped to their backs or one shoulder. Most of them were walking with their heads down. More specially, most of them with their heads down were looking at their cell phones or tablets. Not many students were walking in a group, several were walking by themselves.

The smell of bacon hit the hair every time a student opened and closed the door to Campion. I stayed outside for the majority of my field notes process, but in terms of staying outside I heard several nosies from those who were inside the building. I heard the Chapel’s church bells, the birds chirping, cell phones ringing, people talking on the phone/ talking to their friends (*laughing*). People speed walking to class or to the library.

My Research Proposal- TAKE TWO

Take Two. This isn’t my initial research. After three long weeks of much frustration and somewhat failure on finding a community based company/ organization, I have finally decided to work with Rival Bros Coffee Roasters. This coffee shop located in Philadelphia: (2 locations below)

2400 LOMBARD ST. PHILA, PA 19146

1528 SPRUCE ST. PHILA, PA 19102

This coffee shop was “born in the city of Philadelphia from proud natives and lifelong friends, Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi.” My interest and love for coffee first started my sophomore year of high school. Now, being a senior in college I have found myself not only drinking three cups of coffee a day, but much more educated on different types of coffees presented. I enjoy studying and doing work outside of campus space. I usually head over to a nearby coffee shop. In a city like Philadelphia, I like to experiment and feel out different coffee shops. When finding a particular shop that I like, I base my judgement off of three things: aesthetics, how strong the scent of coffee is and the vibe of the music & Barista’s.

I am ready to meet the “bros” and challenge myself with this topic presented. I am excited to get started!