Bobbi—the original Bobbi of Bobbi's Coffee Shop—wants her name back.
"I want my name off the building. I was a little upset the (owners who followed me) sold my name to Mary," says Bobbi Thorne.
Not wanting to cause a fuss, she let it go. It would have meant involving lawyers and causing ripples. So when Mary Miljarak bought the business in 2006 it came with the locally celebrated Bobbi's name and sign. Now Bobbi's is closed for Miljarak's failure to pay rent.
So well known in Cupertino is the name Bobbi's that during a community meeting at the diner held in the days before Highway 85 opened in 1994, residents queried officials on what the freeway's exit name near the coffee shop would be called.
Would it be named De Anza Boulevard for the street on which the exit would lead, some wondered?
"He said they were seriously thinking of putting Bobbi's Coffee Shop on it because everybody around knows Bobbi's. He was kidding of course," Thorne says.
It's indicative of the roots the diner planted on the property it shares with Yamagami's Nursery. It's been called an "institution," "bastion," and "family go-to place." Now, selling her name is a decision she regrets and if Bobbi's Coffee Shop finds a new owner, Thorne—who long-timers may remember as Bobbi Shepherd—will seek to have her name removed from the business.
Though if some of her former customers follow through on a whim the iconic yellow business sign may wind up under her Christmas tree. Some have been teasing her with the idea, she says.
Several former customers of the diner contacted her following a comment she posted on the March 15 Patch article, that included her email address.
"I'm getting a lot of feedback from my old, old customers. It's making me very happy," she says.
What makes her very sad is the loss of Bobbi's from Cupertino.
"I'm really sorry to see this go down this way, it breaks my heart," Thorne says.
Editor's note: This is the first installment in a series of articles derived from a conversation with Bobbi Thorne.