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Keys To The Shop : Equipping Coffee Retail Professionals

Keys to the Shop is a podcast produced by Keys to the Shop Consulting providing coffee shop owners and professionals, with insights, inspiration, and the tools they need to grow and advance their coffee business or coffee career. Together we learn from experts both in and outside the coffee industry as they deliver specific, practical, and actionable advice about ownership, barista work, management, leadership, personal development, and anything else that will help you achieve success in the coffee shop!
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Keys To The Shop : Equipping Coffee Retail Professionals
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Now displaying: July, 2021
Jul 29, 2021

It's Founder Friday! I am very pleased to be presenting a conversation with someone who I have wanted to have on a Founder Friday for quite a while. Not just because he has been quite successful, but because in the course of achieving that success he has created a model of a healthy and resilient business through rooted and wise decision making, refinement, expansion, and putting values into action. Today we are talking with Justin Shepherd of Spencer's Coffee in Bowling green, KY!

Justin left a career in journalism to purchase a coffeeshop, along with his wife, Shelley, back in 2005. In the years since, he and his team have transformed Spencer’s Coffee  from a quaint downtown cafe to a sustainable and ever-growing company, boasting two locations and a third set to open this fall). In addition to a full menu of coffee and espresso, house-made pastries and made-to-order breakfast items are served at both locations, and the original downtown location also features a full lunch menu, along with a rotating selection of craft beer. 

In our conversation we will be taking you through the whole story of how Justin started, early and hard lessons, navigating change, and building a firm foundation with the community in mind. 

We cover:

  • Early lessons taking over an existing business
  • Getting through initial challenges
  • Learning about coffee and business
  • Asking for help and becoming confident
  • Serving what is right for your community
  • Managing customer retention and changing standards 
  • Knowing the numbers and profitability
  • Stages of expansion
  • Hiring and Managing
  • Keeping the community as your center
  • Justin's proudest accomplishment
  • Advice to other owners/entrepreneurs 

Links:

www.spencerscoffee.com

Instagram

 

Related Episodes:

146 : How to Host a Throwdown w/ Justin Shepherd of Spencers Coffee, Bowling Green, KY

145: Founder Friday w/ Red Rooster Coffee Roasters co-founder, Haden Polseno-Hensley

083: 6 Essential Books for your Professional Growth

196 : Understanding Customer Preferences w/ Peter Giuliano

223 : Building a Financially Resilient Business w/ Andrew Carroll

230 : Making room for Community in your Shop

 

Visit our sponsors!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

www.pacficfoodservice.com

 

 

Jul 29, 2021

Here's some good news...Burnout is usually a result of a long string of unaddressed stressors that build up until they reach critical mass. Why is that good news? It's good because it means with a few shifts of our thinking and approach we can address the issues that lead to burnout before it happens. 

Today on Shift Break we will be discussing a few of the ways we can either set managers up for failure or success based on how we  create roles, expectations, and the degree to which we practice being agents of clarity and resourcing.

Episodes to listen to next:

248 : The 5 Elements of Resourcing your Team

244 : Top 10 Ways to Lose Employees

229 : 7 Tips for New Managers

194 : Encore Episode! Leadership in the Cafe: 10 Steps to being a People First Leader | Aired January 17 2017

 

Visit our sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

 

Jul 27, 2021

We generally assume that roasting happens once green coffee leaves its county of origin taking much of the coffee's value along with it. But there is a growing movement of entrepreneurs who are keeping their coffee's value right at home by roasting at origin and shipping direct to shops and consumers. 25 years ago that movement was catalyzed and led by today's very special guest, Luis Fernando, Founder of Amor Perfecto in Colombia. 

Luis' quest was to bring the freshest, best tasting Colombian coffee to the world and he started by breaking the law. It was illegal at the time to roast and/or sell quality beans locally but through his passion, championing roasted at origin Colombian coffee, Luis not only was able to get the law changed but has today built global team of FNC-affiliated growers, agricultural technology companies, master roasters, baristas, packagers, chefs and coffee aficionados all brining the finest Colombian Coffee to the entire world. 

Luis and his team at Amor Perfecto have won a host of awards for their coffee, barista skill, and business. The most impressive result of all Luis' work though is his legacy and the impact Amor Perfecto has had on countless professionals, farmers, and like minded entrepreneurs. 

In this episode we cover:

We cover:

  • From flowers to coffee
  • Adding value at origin
  • From illegal operation to trail blazer 
  • Changing laws to revolutionize coffee culture in Colombia
  • Barista competitions and networking
  • Learning to roast and developing the business
  • True local coffee
  • Exporting origin roasted coffee
  • Advice to other entrepreneurs at origin 
  • Developing professional barista culture
  • Partnering with growers
  • Sustainability legacy and future farmers 

Links:

www.amorperfecto.com

 

Episodes to listen to next:

288 : The Truth behind Cheap Coffee w/ Karl Weinhold

265 : Gaining Clarity on Transparency w/ Jonas Lorenz of The Pledge

061 : You Don’t Know Beans about Brazil w/ Kelly Stein, Coffea Podcast

Visit our sponsors!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

www.pacficfoodservice.com

www.coffeefest.com

 

Jul 22, 2021

It is a blessing and a curse. Being in a position of management or any type of authority means you likely can see when things are wrong or don't quite fit the ideal. That is a valuable skill set that is worth cultivating. As a result we tend to skew negative and become primarily focused on what is wrong which inevitably leads to an anemic and rather bleak outlook in the coffee shop. 

Today on Shift Break we will be talking about how we can balance our natural tendencies with mindsets and actions that skew positive. 

 

Related episodes:

The Affirmation Vacuum

 

 

Visit our sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

Jul 19, 2021

What is professionalism? Is it aprons? Using the right greeting? The way the space looks? When it comes to coffee shops and coffee professionals we often use metrics that are more surface than substance and the result is that we create an experience that misses the mark when it comes to making real connections and, I would argue, misses the mark on what true professionalism is. 

Today we will be chatting about what professionalism is, what it is not, and how to create an authentic expression of hospitality through your craft that matters. 

I am pretty passionate about this subject and hope that this helps inspire some deep thoughts on how we seek to present ourselves and build our industry. 

We will cover:

  • What we believe about professionalism
  • Why it is problematic
  • The results of pursuing synthetic expressions on staff, customers, and business
  • The universal values of true professionalism
  • How to build with substance and grow with grace
  • The future we and our customers want

 

Visit our sponsors!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

www.pacficfoodservice.com

www.coffeefest.com

 

 

 

Jul 15, 2021

On some level we all can justify ignoring customers in our coffee shop. Seems pretty crazy right? I mean, why would we do that knowing how important it is to give a great experience to the one keeping the lights on?And yet it happens all the time. What starts out as a one time act of giving into convenience, turns into a full blown culture. 

On today's Shift Break we will be talking about an experience I had recently that illustrates this and thinking through why it happens, why it hurts us, and what to do about it. 

Episodes to listen to next:

019 : 10 Reasons to Love the Customer w/ Chris Deferio

Spiders! What they can Teach us About Hospitality

045 : Simple, Powerful Hospitality w/ Philip Turner

016: Raising the Bar on your Customer Experience w/ Michael Butterworth 

 

For consulting reach out to: chris@keystotheshop.com

 

Visit our sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

 

Jul 13, 2021

Who is driving our career? Most of the time we attribute our careers current state to outside forces or fate. Rarely will we consider that we ourselves are the primary driver of our success. The good news is that there are lot's of things that we can both do to take control and start really steering thing in the direction we want to go. Lucky for us today's special guest has written a couple books on this subject, one of which we will be discussing in depth. I am very pleased to welcome to the show, Ed Evarts, Author of the  new book "Drive your Career: 9 High-Impact Ways to Take Responsibility for your Own Success"  

Ed Evarts is the founder and president of Excellius Leadership Development, a Boston-based coaching organization. He works with successful leaders to increase their self-awareness so they can manage themselves more productively; with successful teams to ensure their time together is as productive as possible; and with smaller organizations, at a pivot point in their evolution, to help them plan strategically and purposefully. 

Ed is also the author of "Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job" and the host of Be Brave@Work, a weekly podcast in which leaders share stories about bravery—or the lack of it—in their careers, and the impact their choices have had on their career progression.

In today's conversation we will be going in depth on several of the tactics from the book Drive your Career and discussing how to apply them in your context. 

We cover:

  • Passenger vs driver
  • Creating a positive relationship with your boss
  • Being a helper
  • Self awareness and action
  • Writing yourself back into the equation
  • Feedback
  • Understanding vs being understood
  • Curiosity and culture of fear
  • Bell curves and personal resiliency 
  • Empathy

Links:

Website: www.excellius.com

See Ed in action: https://bit.ly/2Zr29Kp 

 

Episodes to listen to next:

260 : Wait! Is your current Job actually the right Job?

258 : Prioritizing your Mental Health in the New Year w/ Dr. Lara Pence

203 : Empowering Women in Business w/ Katherine Knapke

165 : The Art of Deep Listening w/ Oscar Trimboli

226 : The Art of being Indispensable at Work w/Bruce Tulgan

 

Visit our sponsors!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

www.pacficfoodservice.com

www.coffeefest.com

 

Jul 8, 2021

Don’t hire someone with experience! At least that is what I hear quite often. The idea being that you won’t have to untrained old habits. I many people’s mind experienced employees are more of a pain than they are willing to deal with. 

But where does this assumption come from? Is this a fair rule to have for hiring? I honest don’t think so. The truth is that experience is only a liability in the hands of certain people. 

On today’s Shift Break we will be exploring just how experience can turn into a liability and how to approach baristas with experience in a fair way. 

Related episodes:

235 : 4 Tips for Training your Staff

194 : Encore Episode! Leadership in the Cafe: 10 Steps to being a People First Leader | Aired January 17 2017

121 : Working from Your Strengths w/ Strengths Finder Guru, Lisa Cummings

031 : Essential Advice for New Baristas : Tips to help you successfully navigate and thrive in your new coffee career

018: Hiring, Culture, and the Future of your Shop

 

For consulting reach out to: chris@keystotheshop.com

 

Visit our sponsors!

Elevated batch brew and so much more!

Ground Control Cyclops Brewer

 

The best espresso machines in the world!

www.lamarzoccousa.com

 

 

Jul 4, 2021

Have you ever thrown your hands up in frustration and said something like, "Why won't my staff listen to me?!" I get this type of question a lot from people attending my lectures at Coffee Fest. Managers and owners alike have this moment often. I know I have. We desire nothing more than generating buy-in and to be at peace knowing that our employees are not only listening but will faithfully carry out what has been communicated. Unfortunately this just is not the case and today we will be exploring what some possible causes and suggesting some fixes to help you finally be able to trust your staff, and yourself. 

We will cover:

  • Your approach to communication
  • Expectations and engagement
  • Approach to Leadership and communication
  • Feedback and honesty
  • A culture of ignoring the boss
  • Your focus and energy
  • Hiring the wrong people
  • Systems of support

Episodes to listen to next:

194 : Encore Episode! Leadership in the Cafe: 10 Steps to being a People First Leader | Aired January 17 2017

248 : The 5 Elements of Resourcing your Team

244 : Top 10 Ways to Lose Employees

Visit our sponsors!

www.prima-coffee.com/keys

www.pacficfoodservice.com

www.coffeefest.com

 

 

 

 

Jul 2, 2021

Sample roasting is a critical part of any roasting operation. But sample roasting is not simply used for finding defects or even just for making purchasing decisions. It is also very important to use as a tool to illustrate what a coffee can do and where it fits in your line up according to your's and your customers tastes. Today we are going to be exploring what our guest, Mike Ebert calls, "Illustrative Roasting", and giving you tools, insights, mindsets, and best practices to use your sample roaster to its fullest capacity in helping your coffee reach its highest potential.

As the founder of Firedancer Coffee Consultants, Mike is dedicated to helping clients create a personalized strategy to ensure long-term success. He works primarily with roasters, producers and retailers, drawing from his extensive experience in all facets of the specialty coffee supply chain to guide clients in reaching their potential. Ebert is an Authorized SCA Trainer; holding the professional level certificates in Green Coffee, Sensory Skills, Roasting and Brewing. He has had a hand in many positions up and down the supply chain and continues his volunteer work with the Specialty Coffee Association’s Education Advisory Council as Co-Chair of the Education Content Committee.

In our conversation we cover:

  • Sample roasting for defect vs Illustrative 
  • Roasting with Objectivity and planning use of coffee
  • Priorities of sample roasting frequency
  • Sample roast and cupping for buying vs development
  • Taking into consideration the end user
  • Translating from sample roasting to production roasting
  • Selecting the right sample roaster
  • Assumptions that get you in trouble
  • SOPs and System for any and all roasters

Links:

www.firedancercoffee.com

www.roastmagazine.com

Subscribe to Roast Audio Articles! 

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

 

Related Episodes:

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

RoR #4: Practical Thermal Dynamics w/ Candice Madison of Royal Coffee / The Crown Oak

RoR #5: Time and Color in Roasting w/ Morten Munchow of Coffee Mind”

RoR #6: Buying Less and Doing More w/ Ever Meister

286 : Coffee Roasting Best Practices w/ Scott Rao

 

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