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Keys To The Shop : Equipping Coffee Retail Professionals

Keys to the Shop is a podcast designed to provide the coffee retail professional, with insights, inspiration, and the tools you will need to grow and advance your coffee career or coffee business. Together we learn from experts both in and outside the coffee industry as they deliver specific, practical, and actionable advice about barista work, management, leadership, personal development, and anything else that will help you achieve success.
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Keys To The Shop : Equipping Coffee Retail Professionals
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Now displaying: April, 2021
Apr 30, 2021

It's Founder Friday! Today we get the honor of hearing the story of Gilly Brew Bar in Stone Mountain, GA from Daniel Brown and Nephthaly Leonidas.

Started by Daniel Brown who was quickly joined by Nephthaly Leonidas, Gilly Brew Bar was founded with the mission to help people re-imagine coffee culture. This mission serves their main purpose, which is to disrupt norms and build better communities. Gilly came to be as an effort to not only make waves in the coffee industry being black owned, but to change the narrative of what it means to be a coffee company serving in the community alongside an amazing gang of baristas. Gilly is unique also in that they serve coffee and tea elixirs to story-tell. With this experience comes a whole new way of thinking and operating. Humility, connection, and people focused service define what Gilly is all about. 

In today's conversation we are going to deep dive into the story of Gilly's founding, overcoming challenges of history and race, bucking the status quo and much more

We cover:

  • Setting the table for guests
  • Not being just a coffee bar
  • People focus
  • Challenges in first year
  • Overcoming racism and obstacles 
  • Customer feedback and leading with humility
  • Becoming a light in the community
  • The unique elixir beverages and their story 
  • Hopes for the future

Related Episodes:

236 : Founder Friday! w/ Meil Castagna-Herrera & Curtis Herrera of Cafe Corazon!

222 : How to have Difficult Conversations about Race and Justice w/ Kwame Christian

177 : Founder Friday w/ Jonathan Pascual of Taproom Coffee and Beer in Atlanta, Georgia

116 : Understanding Gentrification w/ Dr. Stacey Sutton

 
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Apr 29, 2021

Ever get frustrated that your staff are not doing things the way you want? I'm guessing you have. In fact if you are like most leaders presented with an issue in the shop you have probably also said, "That "should" not be like that." or "They "should" know better."

The question we need to ask though is-why should they? 

Today on this edition of shift break we will be discussing why using this word is often problematic and indicative of bigger issues with our communication and systems. 

Related episodes to listen to next!

Visit our Sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

 

Apr 27, 2021

A lot of how successful a shop is depends on the people who work in it. In the specialty coffee retail industry we can tend to hire based desperation, convenience, or nepotism. What we end up with then is problems in the work and culture that manifest themselves either immediately or down the road. 

Instead we need to prioritize the hiring process as the main tool in creating a great cafe experience. In today's episode you and I sit down to talk about some best practices in the hiring process that will make getting the right fit for your cafe way more likely.

Be sure to listen to the recommended episodes below that are related to this topic. 

We cover:

  • Why "It's hard to find good people" is flawed
  • Your values lens
  • Applications and resumes
  • Should you hire experienced or no-experience?
  • Hiring for potential 
  • Interview tact and goals

Related episodes:

Apr 22, 2021

Even though you might want to, you can't just chuck items in the garbage willy-nilly. I have been there, done that, and suffered the wrath. 

There is a better way to keep the menu fresh and get rid of items  humanely and with deference to the customer and the staff. Today we will discuss this important part of curating a great menu. 

Interested in consulting or coaching? chris@keystotheshop.com

Related episodes:

248 : The 5 Elements of Resourcing your Team

191 : Retraining your Staff on new Standards

080 : Changing things in the Cafe : A workflow for Refinement

 

Visit our Sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

 

Apr 19, 2021

How we respond to negative feedback will have a big impact on how our business grows. The trouble is that we tend to not take kindly to negative feedback and respond with either dismissiveness, avoidance, or defensiveness. We leave a lot of value on the table when we don't embrace critique and use it to our advantage. 

Today we are re-airing an episode from 2 years ago that takes you through my 5 step process for responding and reacting to negative feedback in a way that opens up lines of communication, builds good will, and actually strengthens your business in the process. 

Let's dig in!

We cover:

  • Why we get defensive
  • The value of our staff and customers
  • Deciding your response ahead of time
  • Humility and self-reflection
  • Refining the feedback
  • Filling in missing info
  • Responding with generosity

Recommended episodes:

 

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Pacific Barista Series

Prima Coffee

 

Apr 15, 2021

In conversation with employees we are often too quick to accept the first answer or the first explanation of and issue. In order to help we need to have the right information. Unfortunately, often due to the power difference between boss and employee, the information only scratches the surface. 

Today we will be discussing how exercising positive doubt and being curious can help open people up as well as open more solutions to the issues being communicated. 

 

Related episodes to listen to after:

 

Toxic Vulnerability 

074 : The Life Changing Power of Good Authority w/ Jonathan Raymond

229 : 7 Tips for New Managers

104 : How to Deliver Difficult Feedback w/ Tom Henschel

052 : Solving Coworker Conflict w/ Tom Henschel

151 : How to Respond and React to Negative Feedback : 5 Step Process

 

Visit our Sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

 

Apr 14, 2021

Welcome to the last episode in the "Thinking Differently" series brought to you by Ground Control!

We are ending on an amazing episode this week as we are going to be talking with the amazing, James Combs of Combs' Coffee in Corinth, Texas!

James Combs founded Combs' Coffee in 2013 by visiting East Africa on a sourcing mission with a friend that he met while working in the finance industry. He fell in love with tea and coffee while visiting the birthplace of coffee and seeing how incredibly difficult it is to produce. Upon the arrival of the first shipment of coffee James began roasting coffee with arguable the worlds smallest solar powered coffee roasting operation at his house in Corinth, Texas. Fast forward 8 years and James is now operating the worlds largest solar powered coffee roasting operation with a 30 KW solar array and 3 commercial machines housed within a 100+ year old Coca Cola bottling facility. He currently imports tea & cacao as well as offers local wine and craft beer. James is also a Q-Grader, COE judge, and certified Wine Taster. 

In our conversation with James we are going to be covering a lot of ground as we explore his tenacious pursuit of building a highly sustainable and quality focused coffee business that also gives back to his local and global community. Fittingly, James has a boundless energy to offer all the current and future projects at Combs' Coffee. Whether we are talking about building a hydro battery, the virtues of mason jars for whole bean coffee, or creating platforms for other businesses to thrive and be sustainable, Combs' Coffee is anything but your typical coffee company, they are the epitome of thinking differently!

We cover:

  • Discovering coffee and tea
  • Pusuing Q grader
  • His radical commitment to sustainability
  • Scaling sustainable values
  • First impressions of the industry and early challenges
  • Learning roasting and embracing challenges
  • Creating structures and project to serve the community
  • Building a legacy
  • Running sustainable cafes
  • Upcycling, recycling, eliminating waste
  • Amazing future plans
  • Facilitating opportunities for others

 

Be sure to check out the  bonus content only available on www.groundcontrol.coffee/ktts as we continue the conversation with James and talk about: 

  • How do we start out pursuing sustainability on our business? 
  • Doing more with less
  • Embracing the hard way
  • Being consistent with your business path
  • Hopes for the future of coffee

 

Links:

https://www.combscoffee.com

https://combscoffeeorigins.com

http://cabstation.net

 

Related Episodes:

Special! “Thinking Differently” Series | Filipino Coffee w/ Ron Dizon of Teofilo Coffee!

Special! “Thinking Differently” Series | 1% Better w/ Paul Magda of Pause Coffee House

 

Want to brew things differently? Visit our Sponsor!

www.groundcontrol.coffee/ktts

Apr 8, 2021

How do I make more money? Which areas of the business can I adjust to increase my profitability? These are the questions on the minds of most coffee entrepreneurs. Running a coffee bar means you make your money via low profit margins that compound when scaled. It is not as easy as simply introducing a new flavor, choosing the right rewards program, or offering tempting discounts and deals. In fact, a lot of the usual tactics are money drains not money makers and are definitely not sustainable. Many of the ways to make more money are hiding in plain sight. 

In today's episode we are going to talk about six proven methods for increasing your shop's revenue that are both achievable and sustainable. Not to mention they offer the benefit of strengthening your companies foundations and culture in the process.  

We will cover:

  • Service + Speed
  • Well curated specialty item programs
  • Cost + Inventory
  • Retail placement 
  • Getting out of your shop
  • Investing in culture

Related episodes to listen to next:

 

223 : Building a Financially Resilient Business w/ Andrew Carroll

211 : Straight Talk from the Retail Doctor, Bob Phibbs

184 : Making Great Business Decisions w/ Dave Stachowiak

173 : 5 Areas of Focus for Retailers

160 : The Smart Way to Approach Money w/ Jill Schlesinger

 

The BEST in commercial coffee equipment!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

 

Want the best plant based beverage for your coffee drinks?

www.pacificfoodservice.com

 

Apr 8, 2021

When we serve coffee, who are we serving? If you were to listen in on many conversations about coffee over the counter you would think we are just serving ourselves based on the narrow range of coffees we tend to favor as professionals. We serve both the customer and the farmers interest and how we do or do not cultivate enthusiasm for all the coffees we offer has huge implications for our industry's future not to mention the health and sustainability of your own business. 

On today's shift break we are going to chat about cultivating a new mindset that will help us show up at work ready to serve our customers both in our communities and on the farm. 

 

Related episodes:

Visit our Sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

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Apr 6, 2021

Welcome to the next episodes in the "Thinking Differently" series brought to you by Ground Control!

On today's episode we are going to be talking with the co-founder of Pause Coffee House in Sacramento California, Paul Magda!

Paul and his business partner Edward are 1st generation immigrants who for the past 6 years have worked diligently to create Pause Coffee House and have learned and grown an enormous amount in the process. Their background is primary in construction and fabrication with a dash of medical experience but they entered the coffee space with a dedication to making Pause Coffee House the best experience for their staff and customers possible. Their story is one of managing incredible amounts of change with the mantra of being 1% better everyday. 

In today's conversation with Paul we will be discussing their start-up story, their personal and operational challenges taking on and changing an existing business, and how they have thrived through partnerships, teamwork, and a focus on the operations of the business. 

We cover:

  • Opening the business and early mistakes
  • Being creative in problem solving
  • Change management 
  • Growing as leaders
  • Testing vision for authenticity 
  • Leaning on other people for help
  • Learning the coffee business while dealing with cover
  • Being 1% better daily
  • Developing the operations  

Be sure to check out the  bonus content only available on www.groundcontrol.coffee/ktts as we continue the conversation with Ron and hear some pretty amazing advice for operators and owners who also want to make a difference with their business!

Links:

www.pausecoffee.house

Instagram

 

Related Episodes:

Special! “Thinking Differently” Series | Filipino Coffee w/ Ron Dizon of Teofilo Coffee!

 

Want to brew things differently? Visit our Sponsor!

www.groundcontrol.coffee/ktts

Apr 5, 2021

Markets shift and trends change, impacting how we do business as retailers and also how consumers perceive and interact with what we offer. In the last few years there have been incredible amounts of change taking place that we would do well to both pay attention to and embrace as we strive to meet the consumer where they are as well as do our part to help shape the market. 

To help us wrap our heads around what is happening now in the landscape of cafe spaces and global trends is past guest and researcher Dr. Jennifer Ferreira!

Dr Jennifer Ferreira is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) at Coventry University. She is an active member of both the Economic Development and Inclusive Economies cluster and the Sustainable Production and Consumption cluster within CBiS. A large part of her research interest is in the expansion and development of the coffee and coffee shop industries, in particular the role of coffee shops and coffee shop cultures in different locations and economies, the importance of sustainability, and the role of the circular economy. She has publish many studies as well as articles the you can find on her website www.cafespaces.wordpress.com.

In our conversation today we are going to discuss the most relevant movements in the market that impact both consumers and brick and mortar retailers.

We cover:

  • Chain stores and growth trends
  • Customer education in coffee
  • Cafes reactions to COVID
  • The spread t suburbia
  • Home coffee brewing
  • Sustainability and the story of coffee
  • Digital interactions 
  • Markets to pay attention to
  • Best next steps for coffee retailers

Related Episodes:

090 : Researching the Cafe w/ Dr. Jennifer Ferreira

206 : The Emotional and Social Impact of the Cafe Space w/ Noa Berger

198 : The Evolution of the Coffee Shop w/ Prof. Jonathan Morris

140 : A conversation w/ Erika Vonie, Director of Coffee at Trade Coffee

 

 

The BEST in commercial coffee equipment!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

 

Want the best plant based beverage for your coffee drinks?

www.pacificfoodservice.com

 

Apr 1, 2021

Thermodynamics is what makes coffee roasting possible. Having an understanding and control of it is what makes great roasting possible. But what aspects of thermodynamics should we be familiar with and what methods of controlling it are best? In this month's installment of the Rate of Rise series to you by Roast magazine we will be addressing these questions and much more with none other than Candice Madison. 

Candice Madison has worked in specialty coffee for over a decade, as an accomplished barista, roaster, and trainer. She is a Q Arabica Instructor for the Coffee Quality Institute, an Authorized Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Trainer, teaching on SCA certified campuses, as well as at the annual SCA Event, World of Coffee and Coffee Roasters Guild Retreat. A past World Coffee Events Head Judge, Candice is currently the Director of Roasting at The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab and Tasting Room. She oversees production roasting for the Tasting Room, as well as contributing to the Crown Jewel program, and hosting original and SCA roasting education. She is also a published writer on a range of topics concerning specialty coffee. Additionally, Candice was a member of several SCA committees, including the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, Candice is the Vice President of the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE). 

In our conversation today we are will diving deep into the practical knowledge, application, and methods for harnessing the power of thermodynamics in the roasting process.  

We will cover:

  • Difference between heat and thermal energy
  • Systems that impact roasting
  • What probes actually measure
  • How to control and track thermal energy
  • Understanding your machine
  • Main mistakes made in the roasting process
  • What to measure to monitor thermal energy
  • Between batch protocol and how much data is too much
  • Learning and teaching roasting 
  • Does your roaster make your coffee taste particular ways?
  • Cupping against data and managing reactions in the roaster
  • Practical next steps to control thermal energy in your roaster

Links:

www.royalcoffee.com

Royal IG

Candice IG

 

www.roastmagazine.com

Subscribe to Roast Audio Articles! 

https://www.roastmagazine.com/audioarticles/

 

RoR #1: A Conversation w/ Anne Cooper of Equilibrium Master Roasters

RoR #2: Exploring Quality Control w/ Spencer Turer of Coffee Enterprises

RoR #3: Making Contingency Planning a Reality w/ Andi Trindle Mersch of Philz Coffee

 

 

Interested in coffee consulting? Let's talk! Email me: Chris@keystotheshop.com

 

 

 

Apr 1, 2021

When we want to delegate authority, install a manager, or hire a barista we rely on a job description. We know the power a well formed and detailed job description has for setting up expectations and communicating clearly the what and why of the work, but what about owners? 

Today we will chat about how a job description is not just good for your staff, but vital for you as well.

Related episodes:

Visit our Sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

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