Having recently moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan from Phoenix, Arizona I found myself in a city lacking one thing: STARBUCKS. Back where I come from, I was a regular at the Starbucks at Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale and on 75th and Peoria Ave (which have their own pros and cons). I choose my coffee establishments by grading three critical things: Service, Cleanliness and Quality.
SERVICE: Cup of the offers that "mom & pop" environment which is very warm and welcoming. The staff is small and efficient but lacks diversity in the aspect of having only women baristas. The girls are charming and always remember you as a customer. The owner, who gets his title by not introducing himself but by always being there, is polite and professional. The facility in general has the "right wing, conservative demeanor" which is known to draw local customers away who don't necessarily agree with the politics, but coming from the fact that the owner is highly ranked in the local republican office, it's nice to see that he uses his facility to his liking, this review coming from a strong liberal myself.
CLEANLINESS: The place is clean and tidy. The shop lacks modern decor and seating but as a small business, I don't think the purpose of this establishment is to fancy it's customers with posh seating. Though, I would like bring the shop an Ikea makeover, I wouldn't say the I would give the shop less of a rating because of it. The shop has a salon in the back of the house which I never been to, but if you're wondering why there are wigs in the window, that's why.
QUALITY: Quality is big for me. I don't have a problem buying a $7 cup of coffee if it's a delicious cup of coffee. My normal two-pump quad shot white mocha from Starbucks was $7.47 each day. Here at Cup of The Day I only pay $3.51 for the same coffee. Of course it's no Starbucks in taste, but thats okay considering IT ISN'T STARBUCKS. Now, I've been here a few times and I know what barista makes the best cup. The younger girl with brown hair (I forget her name) is always spot on with my order. The expresso doesn't sit too long, the milk isn't burnt and the flavor is perfect. The other barista's could use some work.
Overall, the experience is good (when not bombarded with Anti-Obama merchandise). If you are open-minded to affordable delicious coffee AND SANDWICHES, this is the perfect place to go. The shop also offers a point card when you get 11 points you get a free drink! It's the better place in town (compared to Caffeine Express, Penny's Cafe or Kohl's Koffee) for coffee and lunch!