Dutch Bros: Came for the Smoothie, Left with a Puppy

This blog I will be discussing story that combines the great experience I always receive at Dutch Bros Coffee, and how that turned into my family and I adopting a puppy that didn’t have a home.

Dutch Bros Coffee was established in 1992 in Grants Pass, Oregon, by two brothers of Dutch descent. Their unique atmosphere has turned into one of the country’s “largest, privately help drive-thru coffee companies.” They have over 260 locations in seven states currently. They not only have an amazing business but also have given away one million drinks a year.

Their core values are, speed, quality and service. They also have a strong community focus and have donated over $2 million a year to local communities and nonprofit organizations. Dutch Bros is not just a brand, but has a loyal customer base called the “Dutch Mafia.”

Every experience I have had there is customer focused, with their friendly knowledgeable employees who are always having fun, and dancing to the stereo playing upbeat fun music. They also provide a rewards card, which provides you with a free drink after ten purchases, again promoting customer loyalty.

So now for the memorable experience my mom and I had three years ago. We had just finished participating in a 5k running event in Reno, Nevada and were heading back to our home in Carson City. Since there are no Dutch Bros currently in Reno, the only one to stop at in Northern Nevada, is in my home town of Carson City.

I wanted to stop there on our way home to grab a smoothie. Little did I know at the time we would be leaving with much more than just a smoothie. Heading through their drive thru we had just paid for our smoothies, and standing in the line to their order window was a girl holding a little white Siberian husky puppy.

We of course asked if we could see this little white ball of fluff, and the girl came over and jokingly asked, “Do you want her?” My mom and I both laughed, but the girl said she was serious and that this little husky didn’t have a home and she was just taking care of her for the week. So we took down her phone number and once again were in the situation of consideration adopting another puppy for our family.

A week later we couldn’t help but decide to bring her home with us. I felt that Keva needed a sister her own size to play with as well. My parents have two Pomeranians, Nala and Koko, who easily adjusted to the newest addition. My brother is always great at coming up with the names for our pets, so it was decided that Kona would be her name.

She is now a rambunctious 3 year old, full of energy and ready for adventure. She even has her own backpack to head out with my Dad on his summer backpacking trips. She loves all of her older adopted sisters and never wants to miss out on the action.

So next time you’re near a Dutch Bros looking for a coffee or beverage, be prepared for an experience you might not expect! We had a great customer experience, and also added to our fur family.


Nevada Humane Society: My Life Changing Experience

Throughout this blog I will be discussing a personal story that changed my life about five years ago. My customer experience with the Nevada Humane Society, was not only great, but greatly added to my life.

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Nevada Humane Society. They are a charitable, non-profit organization established in 1932. They are located in Reno, Nevada. Since their new mission in 2007 over 90,000 animals have found forever homes. In 2014 the Nevada Humane Society expanded to include Carson City, and in 2016 they moved into their new facility. They are not only prominent in Nevada, but have received national recognition for cutting edge animal welfare, and also help in educating other shelters on lifesaving practices.

Their mission and vision statements are as follows, “to care for pets, find them homes and save lives. All pets should have a healthy, happy life.” Their guiding principles, “are to promote humane treatment, relieve suffering, operate their no-kill shelters and educate and engage the community.”

So how does the Nevada Humane Society relate to me? Well here’s a little bit about my story. Five years ago I was heading to get a pedicure with two of my best friends as a reward for finishing our fall semester of school at UNR in 2012. However, my friend Karli was helping to foster a small litter of puppies from the Nevada Humane Society. We headed over to first see the puppies and once I saw little “Vera” it was love at first site.

The following day I told my Mom about this wonderful little puppy, and after some consideration within our family we decided to contact the Nevada Humane Society to express our interest in adopting her. The Nevada Humane Society was excited about our interest and we were put down on the list to adopt her. She was still quite young so it was about another month before we got the call to come in and adopt her.

I vividly remember the day we walked into the Nevada Humane Society and saw her. I knew instantly she remembered who I was, and right when I picked her up she licked my face and I knew we made the right decision. She’s a black, cream and white husky mix and changed my life since that day we took her home.

My brother has always been able to come up with the names for all of our pets, so over the next couple of days we landed on the name Keva. She became the “giant” little sister to my parents two Pomeranian’s, Nala and Koko. It took them a little while to get used to her large clumsy self, but now they all live together as adopted doggy siblings.

This year she will be 5 years old and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I have become an obsessive dog mom along with many of my friends who have also adopted dogs as well. The Nevada Humane Society provided me with the best customer experience I could have imagined.

If you’re interested in the services they provide head to their website. Some of the programs and services include; animal rescue and care, pet adoptions, animal resource center, volunteer opportunities, and low-cost spay/neuter services. You won’t be disappointed!

MyFitnessPal: The Easy Way For Customers To Track Their Food

Image result for under armourThe food and beverage industry has changed over the years, along with the customers’ expectations. Not only is it enough for a company to have a website and be present on social media platforms, they also have to provide nutritional information to their customers. There are so many different kinds of diets and nutritional guidelines people follow, the most successful companies will make it quick and easy for their consumer to see what is in their food.

With laws changing over the past ten years, many companies have already had to make the changes to provide the nutritional information of the food they serve. Many times you can now look at a restaurant’s menu and be able to see the caloric intake of the items in the entrée. This is definitely a good thing, because many times people are unaware of the amount of calories actually in certain items. I absolutely was unaware that at some restaurants even their salads are over 1,200 calories, and that’s something you would initially think is healthy choice.

Image result for my fitness palCustomers want things as easy as possible, especially when it comes to trying to stay healthy or follow a diet plan. There are many different apps out there to help track, but I personally enjoy using MyFitnessPal, which was purchased by Under Armour in 2015. The app has come a long way over the past five years that I have been using it. Including being linked with Under Armour’s other apps like MapMyRun which I discussed in a previous blog.

Image result for my fitness pal

Now it is easier than ever to count calories and track your daily macros. You can break up your day into four categories; breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. They even have a section to keep track of the water you consume throughout the day. When you set up an account you can set a weight goal and the app will suggest the caloric intake in order to reach that goal in a designated time, also based on activity level.

The app also finds trends in your eating and if you eat the same breakfast for three days in a row will automatically ask if you would like to input it the following day, instead of having to manually add each item. Another great benefit is that you are able to create your own recipes and once you input all of the ingredients once you can save the recipe for future use.

One of my favorite features in the app is the bar code scanner. Instead of having to type in the product name, you just scan the barcode and it will find the item for you with the calories and nutrient facts. The app also keeps track of your daily steps, and can also be synced with MapMyRun to incorporate your daily workout.

If you are in search of an app to track your daily caloric intake, and set goals for yourself I highly suggest downloading MyFitnessPal.

Photo Credit: Under Armour, MyFitnessPal, Screen of App

MapMyRun: Customer Friendly Running App

Image result for under armourThe realm of the customer service industry is so vast and encompasses many different companies. Almost every company you interact with is going to have the customers experience on their mind. Making things simpler for the consumer is a huge goal for many companies, because the simpler it is to access your website, app, social media platform, or products the more likely the customer will have a positive experience and keep coming back for  more.

The health and fitness industry is vast, with many companies, products, and expected experiences from the customers. Everything from the clothing line the customer decides to wear, to the food they consume, to the gym membership they subscribe to are all part of this ever changing industry. The better experience the person has with the brand the happier they will be and the more likely they will recommend your product or service to others.

Image result for map my runI am going to focus on the running industry and the awesome customer experience I have had with MapMyRun by Under Armour. I grew up playing multiple sports, but after a reconstructive knee surgery during high school, I stopped playing the sports competitively and took up running as a hobby. During my senior year of high school I completed my first half marathon for my senior project.

I continued running through college as a hobby with my mom, and have now completed five half marathons along with numerous 5K’s and 10K’s. I have tried many different methods for tracking my runs and pace, from watches, to self-pacing, to fitness trackers that attach to your shoe. Each had their pros and cons; however I was never completely satisfied with any of the options.

Image result for running

My mom recently showed me MapMyRun and I after my first use, I was shocked that I didn’t find that app sooner! It is very user friendly and extremely accurate. Not only does it track your walk or run, but will give you pace and distance updates at the desired intervals you set. It keeps all of your runs under your workout history so you can easily compare to previous times, and set new goals for yourself.

It also has the option to set goals for yourself, whether that includes weekly mileage, number or workouts, or the amount of time you want to complete each week. I personally like setting a weekly mileage goal and every walk or run I complete it updates my weekly goal so I know how many miles I have left to complete that week.

They also offer an upgraded in app membership plan where you can have access to distance specific training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, or customer distances. This is unique and allows many to find the right fit for them to keep them on track with their workout regimen.

If you are looking for an app to track your next walk or run, I highly suggest downloading MapMyRun. Easy to set up, and instantly you will be able to start tracking your progress and see your progression over the coming weeks.

Photo Credit: Under Armour, Map My Run, Running



Lululemon’s Excellent CX

Image result for lululemon logoIn the world of athletic wear there are many options for a customer to decide from. Many different brands, logos, price ranges, and quality. My mom and I have tried many different brands throughout the years, and different brands provide different benefits depending on the item you need. However, Lululemon consistently provides a great experience in all aspects of their business.

Recently my mom purchased a couple pairs of running pants from their website, and was alerted when the items were on their way, and received the items in only a couple of days. This was just with their standard shipping. Lululemon is a more expensive brand, so providing excellent service and follow through is essential to keeping customers coming back for more. My mom has purchased from other higher end sportswear brands and has not received the same level of attention when purchasing online, which has set Lululemon apart from the rest.

Image result for lululemon pantsNot only does Lululemon provide a great experience, they also have an excellent product that is very high quality. The clothing I have from there is excellent and always lasts forever. I never have to worry about the fabric stretching or ripping, and the fit is great for not only running, but any type of activity. I mean I know the prices are a little high, but when spending that amount of money I expect a high quality product, which this company lives up to.

One great thing about their brand as well, is that they do provide discounts online under there “We Made Too Much” section. Here you can find styles from throughout their collection for a discounted price, allowing more customers to purchase a few more items. Providing discounts strengthens customer loyalty, because many shoppers love to feel as though they are saving some money, and this is a perfect way for Lululemon to still make a profit on items they may not have sold otherwise.

Image result for lululemon sweat with us communityLululemon is not just a brand, but also has a strong community focus, wherever their stores are located. They host classes and events for the community to get involved in while also promoting wellness and fitness. Their “Sweat with Us” series is hosted throughout the country and increasing interaction with the brand. Details on the dates, times, and locations can be found under their inspiration section on their website.

What is your favorite athletic wear brand? What makes them stand out? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Lulu Logo, Pants, Sweatlife

Old Navy: Great Prices and Great Customer Service

Image result for old navy logo

With the many options for a retail experience, there is much competition between companies to provide an excellent experience. Not only do customers want to have a good experience, but also be provided with competitive prices. I get that there are high end retailers that consumers will choose for their intangible benefits, however there are also many customers who want to be able to pick out outfits for the whole family, with a decent price, while also receiving good quality and recent trends from the industry.

Image result for old navyI decided to highlight Old Navy specifically in this blog post, because of a recent memorable experience my mom and I had while shopping there. One of the many benefits that Old Navy provides are deals and discounts, which can be combined many times. My mom had received a birthday discount, and also had a coupon for $20 off of a $50 purchase. Once we finished up with our shopping we headed to check out. The discounts were scanned, however they weren’t combining (even though the birthday discount said it can be combined with any offer). The cashier called for additional assistance and the shift manager was happy to honor both discounts.

Even though this only resulted in an $8 additional discount, it was more meaningful that Old Navy as a company, respects their customers and wants to make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible. Instead of holding up the line to figure out all of the details of the coupons, the manager just made it right in the moment. Which I believe is key to standing out, and ensuring customer loyalty. My mom and I will absolutely continue to be Old Navy customers, and I am happy to write about the amazing experience that they provide.

Image result for GAPOld Navy is owned by GAP, which is also has the brand names Banana Republic and Athleta. I headed to Old Navy’s customer service page, where they also provide a user friendly platform for customers. They have a two column website, where they provide many options if a customer needs to contact them including; phone numbers, address in case you would like to write them a letter, as well as help in regards to their company credit card.

They highlight the top customer questions at the top of their page which are as follows:

  • How do I return or exchange an item I bought?
  • What’s the status of my order?
  • Can I track the shipment of my order?
  • Can I change or cancel my order?
  • How do I enter a promo code for an online purchase?

Old Navy has a very customer focused service website and makes it clear that they are there to help with whatever question or concern you may have. Simplicity helps companies to stand out, especially in regards to the customer service part of your site. Because consumers want to be able to solve their question or concern quickly and easily.

Have you shopped at Old Navy? What was your experience like? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Old Navy Logo, Store Front, GAP Logo

Alexandra Cappucci: GM Discusses The Great Full Gardens Experience

Image result for great full gardensIn the food and beverage industry providing excellent customer service is one of the key differentiating factors to ensure success of your company. Along with providing excellent food, the customer wants a memorable experience that they will share with their friends and family. I recently had the opportunity to interview a close friend, Alexandra Cappucci, who is the current General Manager for the South Reno Great Full Gardens location.

We talked a little about her background, as she is a fellow graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. Alex has lived in Reno, Nevada for the past ten years and began working for the Midtown location of Great Full Gardens in August of 2013. She started as a server, and held this position for about six months, before transitioning into a management role. She transferred and became the General Manager for the new South Reno location which opened in October of 2016.

I asked her a little bit about what her thoughts were for the locations goals and mission. Her personal mission for the company is to, “create a restaurant concept where everyone feels safe and welcome, no matter their dietary preferences.” She discussed how many people create relationships over food. It is a place to have food and drinks with family and friends.

One thing that differentiates Great Full Gardens from other restaurants are the diverse food options they provide which increases the customers satisfaction. Alex discussed how you can bring an entire family to eat, while everyone is able to find something that aligns with their dietary preference, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or a meat lover. They can all share the experience together and leave happy and full.

One of Alex’s personal experiences with the restaurant that she enjoys the most is serving kids who may have a dietary allergy. They can come and feel welcome and enjoy foods with their friends and family and feel as though they are part of the group. They have had kids come in and celebrate their birthdays with friends and have the ability to feel like a kid, while finding food options that they can actually eat and enjoy. She enjoys making a healthy impact on children, while also providing them with an amazing experience.

In order to follow through on the customer service side of the business I asked Alex about some of the training that goes into creating the awesome culture they have. She discussed one of the main focuses is initially finding employees with the right fit. Having someone memorize a menu or work a computer is easy, but it takes certain individuals to fit with the culture and connect with the guest.


Great Full Gardens calls the hiring process an “audition.” The audition process lasts 3-4 hours, where the applicant can see what goes on behind the scenes, and how the team works. They can see the chemistry the employees have with the customer. This is a mutual decision where both the restaurant and applicant need to mutually decide if it is a good fit, which furthers the strong culture of the company.

Once completing the audition the new hire undergoes training of every position, and completes modules. There is a lot expected of employees, where they have to study and complete a test before working on the floor by themselves. Modules allow the team to be prepared and also allow the guest to feel safe and welcome. Employees need to be extremely knowledgeable about the foods being prepared and served. Being aware of what items are gluten, dairy free, paleo, or affect allergies to name a few are helpful to the customer. Many customers with different dietary restrictions and allergies can all find something to eat and enjoy on the menu.

Great Full Gardens is an amazing local restaurant, and talking to Alex gave a better sense of how they are able to provide such an amazing experience for their guests, along with continuing their strong culture. Next time you’re in the Reno area, make sure to make a stop by Great Full Gardens, you won’t be disappointed!

Photo Credit: Great Full Gardens Logo, Alex Cappucci, Great Full Gardens Seating