Not too long ago I saw a story linked through Facebook from one of the Wyoming pages I follow about Buford, which is well-known throughout Wyoming and beyond for being the smallest town in the U.S. (population 1). It's about halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie; I've always been kind of in awe of it ever since the first fall we lived in Wyoming back in 2000 and the wind was clocked at just over 100 mph one day in October. In some places that's called a hurricane, but in Wyoming it's just... really windy. The owner and sole resident put the town up for auction in 2011 and someone from Vietnam of all places bought it—but instead of immediately reopening under new management, it was boarded up for a long time. I stopped to get gas and a drink on the way back from UT in March and it was still closed down. Gah.
In September, Buford reopened with a slightly new name: PhinDeli Town Buford. It's an interesting story, which you can read here. It's one of those stories that is almost too weird to be believed, but very touching—especially the part about how the former owner Don Sammons, a Vietnam war veteran, now has an entirely different relationship with the country due to this unexpected new development in his life. That kind of story is always among my favorite kind because it serves as a reminder that you just never know how things will turn out.
So now Buford is the smallest town, a restored gas station/convenience stop, and a coffee shop/sole physical presence for PhinDeli coffee, which was the whole point of why the new owner Nguyen Dinh Pham purchased it in the first place. Of course I had to buy some from Amazon, the only other place it's currently available.
I ordered a 7 oz. box of the Espresso whole bean variety recently as an add-on item from Amazon; it's a little expensive ($8.25) but still waaaaay cheaper than if we had a Starbucks habit, as it will last the two of us more than a week. I have the coffee maker set to turn on at 5:53 am (oddly specific) and when I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 5:55 am (terribly unfortunate) the kitchen definitely smelled better than it normally does. Neither of us drinks black coffee as we like to ruin it (well, coffee purists would say we're ruining it) with flavored creamer, but even underneath the creamer I could tell it was very good. I am happy to occasionally add on our support of this Wyoming/Vietnam connection that is so peculiar but also pretty brave. Can you even imagine the leap of faith it would take to buy a town in a foreign country where sometimes the wind blows at 100 mph? Right.