Call out the dogs! Block party this Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. in Morro Bay. Popular radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has discovered Top Dog Coffee Bar on Main Street.
The self-described “no-nonsense family advocate” met co-owner Suzanne Maury through a mutual friend. As life serendipitously happens, Schles-singer was developing her latest concept to fund Operation Family Fund, which provides financial assistance to families of military personnel injured or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Schlessinger designs custom purses and totes. Maury showed her the uniquely colorful burlap bags she and partner Patrick Bietz filled with international coffee beans ready to roast for their Morro Bay business.
“I had a blast coming up with all these original designs, combining unusual material, my love of dogs, and my newfound creative energy,” Schlessinger said.
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“The coffee logos are beautiful,” Maury said. “Dr. Laura lines them and complements each design with custom details. She visited Morro Bay and Top Dog and decided to launch the program with us. She makes one purse a day.”
Bietz and Maury purchased the coffee business in 2007, moving from Southern California after careers in the fitness and film industries.
“Business has been good. We go through a couple of tons of coffee each month,” Bietz said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity Dr. Laura is offering us and Morro Bay. She plans to sell her purses through Top Dog by promoting their sales on her national radio show.”
Always receptive to a creative marketing opportunity, Bietz, a Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce board member, regularly presents small business seminars at the Morro Bay Business Forum.
His recipe for success is, “Produce a good product desired by locals — then tourists will come, too. Train a friendly staff and create an inviting atmosphere. Stay open during customer-desired hours. Most of all — welcome criticism and embrace change. Customers have good ideas. Why not use them?”
Schlessinger will meet and greet customers at Saturday’s event. Morro Bay Police will barbecue to benefit their K-9 Unit, plus Top Dog coffee and Clay House wine tasting and Lenny Blue live music. For information, call 772-9225.