Here's a company who always seems to be there when I need them. Starbucks may catch a lot of grief for being on nearly every street corner and inside every mall, grocery store, hotel, doghouse and outhouse in the land, but they're doing something right and it's reason number one why you should love Starbucks.

Service when and where you need it

When my wife and I were in Paris, the monolithic coffee purveyor was there for us. Not just for coffee we could get in Anywhere, USA, but a restroom that didn't require a Euro or didn't make a pair of tourists feel sheepish and awkward. That approachability is what I we strive for at Luckett & Farley. No intimidation here. If you have a need, we're here to provide the solution you need, anywhere. Which brings me to the ultimate inspiration for today's entry.

This morning those green apron do-gooders were there for me again. I was in an unfamiliar Louisville neighborhood and needed some coffee for a seminar with 60 people, fast. It was a happy surprise (sort of) that they just so happened to be around the corner from the seminar's location. Strategic and convenient location, yes. But that's just half the story. Here's reason number two: the helpful employees.

The right employees make all the difference

While the Starbucks company puts itself out there, so do their employees. In fact, my coffee order for three to-go "travelers" cases and accompanying cups, sugar and creme was delivered to my car without me having to ask for a hand. It's the same attitude you're going to find at locations around the world and a big part of the chain's success. It's not because fresh roasted coffee gives baristas a heart of gold.  It is all by design, according to the book I'm reading titled The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles of Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary by Joseph A. Michelli.

At Luckett & Farley, our baristas are architects, engineers and interior designers. We've been providing great customer service for 158 years. It's part of our great culture. And since Starbucks has only been around for 40 years, maybe they've gotten their inspiration from the green and white muse on their logo and a little from the nation's oldest continuing A/E firm: Luckett & Farley.

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