The Mud House stands as an amazing representation of where passion, genuine love of people, and a consistent pursuit of quality can take you. For 10 years now Casey and Jeremy Miller have been operating one of St. Louis' best coffee shops that gives their customers a taste of excellent coffee, food, and hospitality all under one roof.
In this conversation they talk candidly about a host of subjects related to their journey opening and running The Mud House. We discuss the challenges of setting up the business, setting up the initial menu, the evolution and organic growth of their company's structure, how they hire, knowing your strengths, allocating money for repairs, leading by example, their vision for the ideal guest experience, and so much more.
I am so pleased to have Casey and Jeremy cap off 2018 and I hope their words inspire you as we enter the new year!
SHIFT BREAK #33 : As this year comes to an end and many of us are reflecting on 2018 and planning on what we want to pursue in 2019. As we think and put together goals there is one thing that we tend to miss, and in so doing rob ourselves and others of something beautiful. Today we will chat about accurate reflection and how to invest into areas that truly make a difference personally and professionally.
Thank you all for an amazing 2 years!
Your espresso machine is probably the most expensive thing you have in the shop. It is also the heart of your cafe's operation. Taking care of it should not be left to chance unless you want a pretty big repair bill or to have your ability to do business come to a complete stand still. To help us in our pursuit of maintaining a healthy espresso machine we are joined by the coffee industry's most experienced, respected, and knowledgable technician, Terry Ziniewicz!!!
We will be talking about his top 10 best practices to make sure your espresso machine keeps working and looking beautiful for years to come. We talk about how to implement them and also how to empower your staff to take on some of these responsibilities.
As this is airing on Christmas day, consider this a present from Terry, to you and your espresso machine!
Be sure to check the instagram post of this episode for details on how you can win a free one year "Baskets Gaskets, Screens, and Screws" subscription! "U.S. shipping only"
Upcoming Coffee Fest classes:
Espresso Machine Preventive Maintenance Workshop
This hands on workshop focuses on the basic maintenance and repairs all café owner operators should know. Basic maintenance can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs that are quick and easy to remedy. Industry leader Terry Ziniewicz of Caffewerks will walk you through some of the most common repairs required to keep espresso machines in tip top shape and also provide valuable information on how to train your staff to be just as capable to troubleshoot common issues.
This workshop will cover and is not limited to the following:
• Basic Functions of an Espresso Machine
• Parts Definitions
• Daily, Weekly & Monthly Cleaning Schedules
• Brew Group Maintenance
• Pump Adjustment & Replacement
• Steam Valve Repair & Replacement
• Adjust & Replace Pressurestat
• Drain Maintenance
• Water Flow Trouble Shooting
SHIFT BREAK #32 : I love drink drills! They are an essential tool in any training I do because they work VERY well for bringing a up baristas practical bar skills and getting all staff on the same page. Today we are going to talk about what drink drills are and then cover some guidelines for conducting them effectively. When done well, and regularly, your baristas will be able to handle any scenario that comes their way.
This episode is based off a question from KTTS listener Kara Lozano of Mile Square Coffee in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.
No matter where we are in specialty coffee, we have all benefited in some way from the influence of Starbucks and their immense impact on the world stage. Today we get to learn from someone who has not only been in specialty coffee since it first came on the scene in the 70's but has been at the forefront of Starbucks retail innovation and education for the better part of 23 years.
I am so very honored to welcome to the show, Sr. Project Manager for Starbucks Global, Major Cohen!
To say he has a passion for coffee would indeed be an understatement. Major's passion, curiosity, and fierce devotion to coffee, baristas and the customer experience has helped steer this global coffee powerhouse into it's most progressive expressions beginning with projects as Roy st. Coffee and Tea, 15th Ave Coffee and Tea, and the Reserve Roastery.
In our discussion we cover the arch of his fascinating career. From his beginning a second career as a barista at 45 years of age - to gaining the trust of Starbucks executives to influence and educate global markets today.
We talk about: Mentorship, keys to success in his career, the unofficial history of Starbucks, what was the catalyst for the company moving into the "3rd wave" framework? The balance of being a team player and being and independent operator, What were the challenges of establishing these concepts? How do these high-end experiences influence the other Starbucks stores? What can we do to advocate for our staff and also provide a great customer experience?
There is a wealth of knowledge in this discussion. Consider this a short but densely packed mentorship session with one of specialty coffee's greatest success stories. I know you will walk away with an expanded mindset and a new found energy to approach your work with passion and curiosity.
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
With our partners, our coffee and our customers at our core, we live these values:
We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.
Gallup Q12 Questions
SHIFT BREAK #31 Regular staff meetings are one of the most important tools for energizing, equipping, informing, and affirming. In order to get the most out of these meetings we will be covering several tips that I have seen work wonders in conducting these gathers. With refinement and consistency the end result will be a more cohesive and well functioning cafe and an increase in staff morale.
Links to related episodes:
Kids! When you open a shop you are bound to be serving these little hot chocolate drinking future baristas right along side their single-origin cortado drinking parents. The question is, are they welcome?How do we view them? How do you serve them and still serve your older clientele well? What if we want to focus more on the grown ups? What are some best practices in serving families? Today we are exploring the topic by interviewing two different owners of two different cafes (The Old Barracks & Lucabe Coffee) who take drastically different approaches to the issue of catering (or not catering) to kids in the coffee shop. We will talk about their business, vision, and the intentions behind the policies they have in place that they feel best serves their chosen demographic. Each of them are fantastic coffee professionals running excellent shops. Their advice to us from their experiences is invaluable.
SHIFT BREAK #30 One of the most important thing you can have in your journey through the coffee industry is patience. One of the most deadly is passivity. Today we use a helpful analogy to talk about trusting the process, playing the long game, building momentum, and advocating for yourself in the cafe.
Negotiations...No matter what you do in coffee, you negotiate all the time. Whether it is for a raise, a better price from a supplier, or a lease for a new location. The question is not whether or not you negotiate, but do you do it well? Do you get taken advantage of? Do you put others on edge? The fact is that when we are faced with conflict around these small and large negotiations we often come in with an internal and then external posture that immediately ignites the situation and makes it harder, or impossible, to get what we want. This also leads to damaging our relationship with the other party.
Today's guest, Kwame Christian is here to solve this problem for us! Not only is he the host of the wonderful, "Negotiate Anything" podcast, but he is also the author of the new best-selling book, "Nobody Will Play with Me: How to Use Compassionate Curiosity to Find Confidence in Conflict"
In todays episode we dive into the compassionate curiosity framework
1. Acknowledging emotion
2. Getting curious with compassion
3. Engaging in joint problem solving
We also unpack why it is necessary to deal with your own psychology first when entering a negotiation or conflict, clarifying what we actually want, we role play some scenarios for both baristas, and owners, and get deep into the mindset and methods needed to negotiate anything.
When it comes to business we need to always be trying to position ourselves in a way that will get the best possible outcome. By following the advice in this episode you will be firmly on the road to confidently doing just that.