“Like walking into your granny’s kitchen.”
That’s the goal Andytown Coffee Roasters founders Lauren Crabbe and Michael McCrory have for what people experience when they walk into their shops in the Outer Sunset of San Fransisco.
Starting as a single 600 sq ft shop, Andytown currently employs 49 people over 5 locations— four public-facing coffee shops and one private office cafe. All pastry, baking and coffee roasting is done in-house and they have a thriving wholesale business as well.
Today we get the honor of sitting down with co-founder, Lauren Crabbe to hear a detailed account of the founding, evolution, and the values that drive Andytown Coffee Roasters. This is sure to inspire!
In this episode you will learn about:
Tracking staff performance can be difficult when you are putting out fires and being pulled in a thousand different directions. Things fall through the cracks and that means we miss growth opportunities with staff who end up feeling forgotten about and not noticed. Today we talk about this issue and how to take action so you can track progress and deliver specific and meaningful feedback that will bring clarity for yourself as well.
Do you need help in your shop? Reach out!
Less Bitter, More Glitter. That is one of the mottos for Glitter Cat Barista, a new barista competition training program designed to give marginalized and underrepresented communities the resources to shine on the competition stage and address the problem of representation in the USBC.
In it's first year Glitter Cat has made substantial impact on the diversity seen in barista competitions with four of the ten participants advance from qualifiers to nationals where two first time competitors made it to semifinals and one third-year competitor made it to finals.
All of this is the brainchild of today's guest, T. Ben Fischer.
T. Ben is a 6 year coffee industry veteran and has placed 2nd and 3rd in the USBC (2018, 2019) He is currently based in New York City as a Coffee and Retail Trainer for Blue Bottle Coffee. He joins us today to talk all about Glitter Cat's founding, the journey he has been on, and the lessons learned along the way.
In this episode you will learn:
I am so glad we got to have T. Ben on the show. He is a great example of what one person with a vision and the willingness to act can do to make a difference.
Communication is the cornerstone of a harmonious team. Problem is that we tend to see things that need correction and don't feel comfortable bringing them up to each other. Today we chat about how a mutual agreement between coworkers can help propel growth and prevent strife.
Decaf coffee has been much maligned over the years but it has been getting steadily better. What once was a joke amongst "serious" coffee nerds is now being focused on with the same care as its caffeinated counter part thanks to the efforts of companies like Swiss Water.
But while the death of "Death before Decaf" is eminent (I hope) there still remains a lot of confusion and bias around the subject and decaf drinkers around the world are suffering because of it.
Today we welcome the amazing Mike Strumpf to the show. Mike is the Director of Coffee at Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee and has an impressive list of coffee credentials – a Licensed Q Grader, Education Coordinator for the Canadian Chapter of the SCA, Authorized SCA Trainer (AST) in Green Coffee and Sensory, member of the Coffee Skills Program (CSP) Green Coffee Creators Group, SCA Barista Competitions Group Past Chair, and Head Judge for the World Barista Championship to name a few.
In this conversation he is going to give us an education and perspective shift on decaf and the critical role it plays in our specialty coffee community. Some of the things you will learn in this episode:
I hope you enjoy this episode with a coup of decaf (or regular) coffee and that it helps you lean into what is a blind spot for so many of us.
Be sure and visit the link below to get Swiss Water in your business!
Expanding to a second shop is exciting but it can complicate things when the move to grow is not based on a solid foundation. Today we are chatting about some helpful things to consider before you decide to make the leap.
In a country torn by war one organization is literally sowing seeds of peace and hope through coffee. Mighty Peace Coffee is a next generation impact company working directly with coffee cooperatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo to end poverty and conflict, bring about economic transformation through community and capacity-building, and international advocacy.
Today we get to talk with 3 of the leaders of this organization: Liza Elena Pitsirilos, JD Stier, and Jim N. Ngokwey (See their bios below!)
They take us behind the scenes of Mighty Peace and discuss the founding, evolution, mission, and challenges they face in fighting for the people of the DRC. We also discuss their quality control, approach to marketing, and what hey believe is needed from retailers to help smaller producing countries like the DRC gain more traction and success in the global specialty market.
This is a great organization doing fantastic work and I hope you are inspired by this interview!
Email for green buyers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liza Elena Pitsirilos / CEO, Partner
Born and raised in New York City, Liza has developed her executive Midas touch as an expert educator, wellness leader, and successful entrepreneur, leading Fortune 500 corporate culture creation, coaching, and sales team retreats.
After earning a political science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Liza spent the following decade working overseas with high risk communities earning a Master's Degree in Education, working with immigrant populations, and mastering the art of corporate leadership through facilitating workshops and trainings for over 200 companies. In 2018, she began her Mighty Peace Coffee adventure.
Liza leads the all-women executive team from her homes in Madison and NYC, where she emphasizes family values, time with loved ones, respect for the land, environment, and planning sustainably for future generations. Liza leads health and wellness retreats for women in Miami, NYC, and all those a part of the Mighty Peace tribe.
JD Stier / Chairman, Partner
Born in Atlanta Georgia in the 1970s, raised by a civil rights attorney father and catholic faith leader mother, and with social justice at his core, JD began visiting the African Great Lakes as a university student alongside his housemate, a refugee from African Great Lakes conflicts. Over the decades, JD has worked with local communities as an organizer, human rights defender, award winning documentary filmmaker, and an advocate ally for the Congolese-led development of local economies. Invited to keynote at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, LSE, and over 100 centers for thought and policy leadership, JD argues the key to Congo peace is in charting its own economic path forward.
After having been asked to support local coffee cooperatives, JD offered to assemble the international business and marketing team needed to support the Congolese coffee cooperatives as they transform local economies. JD served in the Obama White House and has founded and led myriad initiatives aimed at ending armed conflicts and spurring economic development, including Stand With Congo. JD lives in New York City and Madison, Wisconsin with his true love, Liza, CEO of Mighty Peace Coffee.
Jim N. Ngokwey / Partner, Business Development
Jim N. Ngokwey was born in Senegal, lives in New York City, hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a proud Pan-African. He is passionate about Africa, business and development and is committed to using his expertise and resources to empower African entrepreneurs and drive wealth creation. He is also actively involved in various non-profit organizations, as a management team member in Young African MBAs, a non-profit with a mission to bridge Africa’s management talent gap. He also proudly volunteers for Malaika, a school for girls in Kalebuka, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As part of his work with the Sub-Saharan Africa Chamber of Commerce, he conducted an exploratory trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo to study the country’s business environment. The outcome was the DRC Investment Opportunity Report which focused on the risks and rewards of investing in SMEs in the country. He is proud to lead Mighty Peace Coffee’s Business Development and is excited to play a role in helping the organization reach its immense potential.
We all feel awkward and impatient when we start in a new position. How we develop in these times will determine who and what we become later on. Today on shift break, a bit of encouragement and perspective to help those of you who have just been dropped into a new environment or a new role.
So you want to start a coffee roastery. Well there is a lot that goes into it and an overwhelming amount of information you can access to help you along the way. Rarely, though, do you get the opportunity to sit down with someone who is expert in both roasting coffee as well as helping other people establish their own roasting businesses. Today we get that opportunity as we talk with the great, Jen Apodaca!
Roasting since 2005, she has experience on scores of different types of equipment, has roasted for Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia, and Royal Coffee. She is the Vice Chair of the Roasters Guild, the founder of #shestheroaster, and currently runs The Pulley Collective Co-Roasting space in Oakland and has launched her own roasting business, Mother Tongue Coffee.
She has helped countless people get their start in roasting, and today we get to count ourselves among those who have learned from her guidance.
In this episode you will learn about:
Sometimes hospitality opportunities are just inconvenient. Often times we straight-up struggle to do anything more than the basic requirements of our job let alone talking to customers or extending ourselves past what we feel like in the moment.
Today we talk about this tension and how to handle it in a way that lifts everyone up.