Where’s your face? Walnut Cafe cultivates a community.

Crossposted at Misohungrynow.com.

Saturday morning, @hopsafari/@windaddict and I took a little stroll down to Walnut Cafe.  He read on Yelp that they had a blueberry cornbead, and that was enough to get us moving.  Needless to say, there were many other interesting aspects of Walnut Cafe.  One of the first things that I noticed were all the photos of faces.  There were faces everywhere.

On the walls, on the menus, on their car out back were photos of customers. All of their materials were printed with photos of their customers.  I absolutely love, love, love this community building strategy.  There’s no website for people to sign up and to post there comments.  This was a community of loyal customers.

Check out all those smiling faces.  I happened to meet the owners of Walnut Cafe.  They have a photo day in which customers can come in to get their photo taken.  You joined the community “board” by showing up and getting your photo taken.  The photos are later used on the menu and other advertising.  Apparently, customers really want to be on the menu, and they are annoyed when their photo doesn’t make it.  That is a pretty awesome situation for a restaurant.  When you have people who want to be the face of your brand, you’re doing a pretty damn good job.

Oh, and @hopsafari had a Walnut Latte.  Yum.

The quiche was pretty fantastic.  Tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and cheese melted together into a hearty and tasty breakfast.  The breakfast potatoes were wonderfully seasoned and spicy.

@Hopsafari had the eggs marcos (eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese) with breakfast potatoes and blueberry cornbread.  I loved the eggs marcos.  It reminded me of putting cream cheese on eggs when I was in undergrad.  The cornbread was also wonderfully tasty.  It was solid in structure, simple in flavor, and comforting.

Really appreciating your customer.  This one comes to Walnut Cafe every single day.  He gets to be the face of their restaurant.

Another shot of the customer heavy menu.  I want to be on the menu.

Not only are the customers on the menus, they are the vehicles.  I’m starting to feel that this restaurant isn’t for the food (however, tasty), but really for the community.

And the pies are award winning.  I love this concept.

More happy customers on the car.

In addition to the two Walnut Cafe locations, they also have a brand new food truck.

Here I am, in the Walnut Cafe truck.

In addition to having an awesome customer community, the food truck community in Boulder is unique.  All the food trucks have a name and identity separate from the food.  Walnut Creek truck’s name is Dinah.  The StrEat’s truck name is Tina.  Hear that, Austin?  Name your food trucks.  They need to have an identity, and their own community.  I love to anthorphomize objects, and giving a food truck a name and identity is perfect.

Another shot of the brand spanking new truck.

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