It's Founder Friday! Today we are welcoming the great Matt Milletto of Water Avenue Coffee to the show! This conversation is packed with extremely valuable insight from someone who not only runs his own shop and roastery but has spent year educating and training others to do the same thing. We discuss his path to choosing coffee from growing up with coffee as the family business, the consulting and training at Bellissimo Coffee Advisors, the founding and running of Water Avenue Coffee, and how they prioritize community and partnerships based on their core values. Matt has an unparalleled body of experience in retail coffee and in this talk he delivers so much great advice and wisdom learned from the front lines of specialty coffee.
SHIFT BREAK #20 : Today we welcome the first ever guest to the Shift Break series, Joe Marocco! A little while ago Joe posted a brilliant piece on his FB page that he has now graciously given to Keys to the Shop in audio form.
Joe is the Coffee Educator at Mill City Roasters in Minneapolis, MN and has been in specialty coffee since 2005. He has been a barista, manager, educator, and leader in the Barista Guild of America. He was also the Director of Education for Cafe Imports and is the Chair of the Membership and Communications Committee for the Roasters Guild Executive Council.
This distillation of advice is gold to young and old coffee pros alike who are looking to set a trajectory that will guide them to a fulfilling coffee career.
I hope you enjoy Joe's words and wisdom!
Stories are at the heart of all we do and to truly know coffee, you must know more than dry facts, you must know the story of the people behind it. James Harper has dedicated himself to discovering and giving a platform to the untold stories of the coffee industry on his new podcast, Filter Stories. In this conversation we talk about James' story and how he came to begin such a project, what are the problems with the way we tell stories now in the industry, what can we do to better understand the stories around us and why is that important for us personally and professionally? James gives us examples from both his personal life and from the lives of those he has interviewed to lay out a framework for us that will give clarity and direction for how story can be, not just another buzz word we use to sell coffee, but a powerful vehicle for how we build a caring and close community.
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SHIFT BREAK #19 : Pumpkin spice everything! It's all too convenient to jump on the bandwagon of hating on this, and other, seasonal flavors that may feel to mass marketed for our taste. Today we talk about the best practices and mentality we should have when seasonal flavor expectations are hoisted upon us, and how to view them as a chance to further engage the community and enjoy things together. So grab a pumpkin spice latte and enjoy this episode!
Instead of being a normal part of our professional development, self-care is often a last resort after we have pushed ourself past where it was healthy in a bid to further our career and serve well. Today we chat about some practical ways that you can integrate self-care into your daily life and avoid the burn out that is inevitable when it is not made a priority. We also talk about what managers and leaders can do to help facilitate and inspire self-care in their staff.
This is a massively important practice and there are many ways to go about it. I hope this episode helps inspire you to make self-care and kindness to yourself a cornerstone of your professional, and personal, life.
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SHIFT BREAK #18 : Today we talk about one of the most powerful practices for creating a healthy workplace. Affirmation.
In leadership, it is easy for us to veer off into being overly critical, nitpicky, and to focus on the problems and negatives as a default modes of operating. Unfortunately this tends to push affirmation and positive reinforcement aside and leaves staff starved for recognition while creating a crisis of morale. In this episode we discuss some practical ways to make affirmation a cornerstone of your leadership and communication.
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Coffee education can often be a mixed bag. While resources presenting information on coffee and barista work abound, it is hard to come by reliable and well researched best practices that will genuinely help you make better coffee. Enter Matt Perger and Barista Hustle. Arguably one of the best coffee education platforms in the world, Barista Hustle focuses on providing trustworthy foundations in coffee education that you can build your knowledge base on and advance knowing it is built on sure footing. Matt's own propensity for wanting to solve tricky problems in the coffee industry along with relying on a strong community of like minded coffee professionals has fueled the success of Barista Hustle and impacted the global coffee scene in a massive way. Today we sit down with him to discuss what drives him in his pursuit of helping the world make better coffee, the founding principles of Barista Hustle, the importance of being expert in the basics, in-house training, proper use of outside resources, how the educational modules are built, the new Barista Hustle Unlimited education Subscription service, and Matt's advice for what we should focus on in the retail coffee world to do better in training and education.
I am so thankful and honored to print this conversation to you and I hope you both enjoy and benefit from it!
Stay tuned in through the end to hear a clip from upcoming Guest, James Harper's "Filter Stories" podcast. James will be talking with me about the power of story in an episode airing on September 25th.
Links for Barista Hustle:
SHIFT BREAK #17 : Being vulnerable in leadership is a great quality but it can turn into something toxic when it becomes an excuse for bad behavior that drives people away and damages their confidence in you and the business. Today we chat about ways to recognize this and make sure to be on the positive and professional side of vulnerability for the benefit of the staff and yourself.
There is an interesting phenomenon in the cafe where as you move up support, communication, and development tends to be harder to come by. The result is managers and other leadership staff feeling abandoned and burned out as they are left to navigate the complexities of their work solo. It does not have to be like this and on today's episode we discuss why this happens, and some solutions what for both owners and managers.