Thoughts from the Publisher | Nov. 15, 2019


I love coffee. I really, love coffee.

I dedicate the Elvis song “I want you, I need you, I love you,” to coffee.

I will drink French roast, Colombian, Hawaiian blend, vanilla nut or just about any flavor.

I will chew coffee beans. I will eat coffee ice cream. I will drink instant coffee. I will drink day old coffee, French pressed brew, iced coffee, etc.

I will drink fancy coffee, house coffee, gas station coffee, bottled coffee, hot, warm or cold coffee.

Although coffee is a big part of my liquid intake, funny thing is, I didn’t develop a taste for it until I went into the newspaper business 25 years ago.

When I started selling newspaper advertising, I acquired a new client company called It’s A Grind (IAG). I often met with the owners too, I felt it unwise to turn down the occasional offer of a free cup of coffee from the owners. What would I tell them, “no thanks, I don’t like coffee?” So, being the smart salesperson that I am, I decided to accept their generous offers and just choke it down. I started by drinking it with lots of cream and sugar. After a few months of diluting the bitter beverage, I actually started to like it. As time went on, I started experimenting with different flavors and trying it iced, blended or with whipped cream. At that point I was hooked.

Moving forward 25 years…

Several weeks ago, two of my co-workers brought me presents when they came back to the office after making sales calls. One of the gifts was a really cute pair of Halloween socks emblazoned with vampire graphics and the words, “bite me.” The other was a little packet of coffee-flavored chocolate called “Pocket Latte.” I loved the socks, but I couldn’t wait to figure out what the little square of latte was. I opened the little package and discovered what looked like a square of chocolate. I took a bite. My eyes rolled back in my head as I had just experienced a magnificent flavor combination of strong coffee with the after-taste of the yummiest chocolate ever! My mind quickly sprung to the questions: What was this magical concoction? Where do I get more?

I then took the time to actually read the label on the package: Ready-To- Eat Coffee, Pocket Latte, Cream and Sugar.

I just couldn’t quite process the concept. I thanked my gift-givers and asked where they found such a magnificent square of goodness. The gals told me that they had gone up to Bixby Knolls to visit a new business by the name of Medcompounders Pharmacy. While they were there, they decided to bring me back a present or two–– knowing that one of my favorite sayings (when provoked) is “bite me,” they knew I would love the socks, and with my obsession with coffee, they figured they’d throw in this Pocket Latte thing.

Falling in love with the portable caffeinated treat, I immediately looked up the manufacturer to learn more about the product. I found out that the corporate office is located in Los Angeles, and I reached out to learn more about their product. Turns out, two of their board members live in Long Beach and are big fans of our Signal Tribune! Telling my contact that I am now hooked on their product prompted them to send me a box of each of their flavors: Hazelnut, Cream and Sugar, Lavender and Vanilla and Dark Roast. I couldn’t believe that they were so generous with me.

Although I considered hoarding the squares of lusciousness, I have been sharing them with friends and co-workers. I gave one to my hairdresser, Leah, at Donato’s Hair Salon, and she had the same reaction I did–– her eyes rolled back in her head. She claimed she was going to just take a small bite but sat there and ate the whole bar all the while licking her fingers between every nibble. Leah’s eye’s really perked up when I suggested that we could melt the bars in a hot cup of coffee. She declared me a genius.

I still have a few bars left, but I have resigned myself to knowing that Medcompounders Pharmacy (3855 Atlantic Ave.) is my supplier. I am at their mercy. I went to see one of the owners/ Pharmacists, Debora Markzar, and let her know that she needs to make sure to keep the Pocket Latte’s in stock. She has agreed as she could tell by my voice and my body language that I wasn’t kidding around.

Oh yeah, they also fill prescriptions, create/ compound custom medicines and carry drug store and really cute gift items.