It has been a goal of Sweet Maria’s Coffee since Tom started the business in the fall of 1997 to provide a BOATLOAD of information about coffee. Like we say on the front page of our website – “We are more than just another on-line shopping cart, we are a virtual coffee university.” After all, that is what keeps us interested; otherwise we could be selling widgets or diapers or bolts.
Over the years, as we have amassed a large pile of photos and articles about all things coffee (from multiple travelogues with hundreds and hundreds of photos, to opining on the state of coffee), the library has grown to be an unwieldy mass of stuff. All of the pieces reflected our thinking at the time, but some of that now seems out of date. So a major revamping was in order – not just to freshen up the look of the pages, but to build in a structure that would ultimately make it more functional too.
Now, if one were to proceed from a purely rational point of view, this would be fairly easy. The more Tom and I thought about it though, we started to think of the Coffee Library as a bookstore, and the sort of bookstore that we would like; a sort of funky independent bookstore where books and photos are piled willy-nilly and it is super fun to browse and browse from one thing to the next, seeing where looking takes you. We were not interested in a mainstream bookstore like Barnes and Noble or Borders Books where the aisles are wide and well marked and it is all somehow less interesting. So we wanted to keep something of that tension, keeping our library accessible (since otherwise what’s the point?) but having enough there that browsing is fun.
I hope we have struck the right balance. You can see the results at www.sweetmarias.com/library
The library is built on the Drupal platform, so we can tag images and articles. You will also be able to log in and comment on articles, photos and videos. The log –ins will be the same between the cart and library – so one log-in works in both places – but just not yet. But go ahead and use the same log in and password – we will make sure it works. Currently the library is mostly just links to the older articles – so the full functionality is not quite there. But as we move forward – I think you will notice the difference. -Maria