In coffee shops it is so easy for us to be blind to anything outside the world that calling for our immediate attention. We relegate the customer's palate to a lowly place in the hierarchy of influence in the cafe and in so doing cut ourselves off from incredible insights into what it is we are actually serving. Today we talk about embracing the customer as experts and the benefit it has for your shop.
Working in coffee can really wear on you. Often we find our motivation for the job is so low it is almost non-existent. It could be you are the only barista that really cares about quality, or you want to advance but there's nothing available, or you might be consuming a lot of content from the industry but non of it seems to be helping. How do we regain a proper view of our situation and gain a healthy perspective on growth and motivation when it seems like things around us are conspiring to keep us down and stagnant? Today I want to offer up an assortment of thoughts and perspectives that will address these, and a few other things, that are often at the root of our difficulties in the shop. I hope this give you some clarity, empowers you, and motivates you to take the first step in the direction of finding joy where you are in your coffee journey
It's Founder Friday and today we get to hear from the 2x Barista Champion of China and owner of M2M Roasters & Uni Uni Coffee , Jeremy Zhang. In this conversation we get a look into Jeremy's road to specialty coffee through competition and the founding of his coffee businesses M2M Roasters and Uni Uni Coffee.
We discuss the challenges that came with opening in a Nanjing's relatively new coffee market that is just waking up to specialty coffee, hiring and training staff, how they approach training, quality control, operations, and his goals and mission for coffee in China.
Jeremy's efforts are helping set the space for what specialty coffee can be in China and it' such an honor to get to talk with and learn from him on the show. Enjoy!
It is easy for us to become jaded and to pass on our cynicism to the customer. How can we come along side them and be their guide tot this new world of specialty coffee and the your cafe? We chat a bit about this today on shift break.
Wholesale! It is a vital part of both your success as a roaster-retailer, and the success of specialty coffee globally. Setting up a program that is sustainable, true to your values, and serves your team and your customers well is an absolute priority. It is no small task to venture into the world of wholesale as there are a lot of complexities and hurdles that will need to be worked through along the way. Having a great foundation laid is the first step and today's guest, Sarah Richmond, does a fantastic job laying that foundation for us.
We discuss integrity, values, servant leadership, systems, pitfalls to avoid in wholesale, books you should read, and 5 key steps you need to take in setting up a program that will bring joy and growth to you, your team, your business, and your customers.
Honestly, Sarah is the kind of person any professional would want as a mentor and having her in the program is an absolute privilege.
Please listen deeply and enjoy!
Competitions are great for their ability to energize, challenge, and foster growth in baristas. The question is, are we doing the same for our staff? We chat about this important issue today's edition of Shift Break!
Baristas speak and we listen! Learning form others experiences and allowing the way we chart our course to be influenced by the best input from our peers is an essential element of healthy community.
I was able to attend the Coffee Champs event in Nashville where I had many great conversations with professionals from all over the country. I recorded and am sharing 3 of those conversations. I interview Adam Jacksonbey of the soon-to-be-open "Tell Coffee" D.C., Kat Melheim of The Coffee People Zine and Roaster at Allegro Coffee in Denver, CO, and Kristina Jackson of Intelligentsia Coffee in Boston Mass.
We talk about what drives them to pursue a career in coffee, what makes a great barista, what makes a great leader, what challenges did they have to overcome in heir careers, and how do they want to leave their mark on the industry.
I hope you leave these interviews encouraged and inspired!
There is always room for more clarity in communication. This is especially true in the coffee shop where so much vital information can fall through the cracks when it gets busy. Today we chat a bit about how duplication and repetition creates a better chance at getting cafe-wide adoption of any initiative.
Our industry is blessed to have so many wonderful women contributing their greatness and inspiring us all. Laura Gonzalez knows this to be true and founded the Strong Women of Coffee project to help them tell their story and give them a voice. Today we chat with Laura about her experience in running this project and what she has learned along the way. We discuss common challenges women face in the industry, double standards, and also what practices we can adopt in the cafe that she believes would help give more opportunity to women and other marginalized groups.
It was such pleasure to talk with Laura and I hope you gain some perspective and adopt some practices that make a difference in how you run your shop and lead your people.
There is more to a business than just our vision and goals. When we create anything we are involved in a conversation. Today we chat about how to approach your goals and creative projects in a way that takes into account the big picture.
If we want healthy businesses that produce amazing coffee experiences then becoming better at training and teaching coffee needs to be a constant pursuit. There are hardly any books out there that speak directly to the situations coffee trainers find themselves in...until now!
Anne F. Nylander has written the book "Training Principles for Specialty Coffee Professionals" and it acts as a guide book that is foundational for success as a trainer, and consequently the success of your trainees! In my conversation with Anne we go over each section of the small but mighty book and talk about the details behind each of the principles she writes about from her over 16 + years in coffee/consulting/training. Subjects include learning about learning styles, managing a room, dealing with disruption, planning, setting standards, training roles, and tracking performance.
I love that we get to start off the year with such a useful episode with a ton of actionable insight!