By Erin Meister, Customer Support, Counter Culture Coffee
Of course we’re in the field of specialty coffee for the coffee, right? We breathe deeply over our mugs to capture that intoxicating aroma, and we relish the warming first sip from a cup of something that was grown, picked, processed, roasted, and brewed with loving care. But it’s more than just coffee that makes our industry and our work interesting. The relationships we cultivate as retailers are as integral a part of the specialty trade as the coffee varieties cultivated at origin.
Without people, there are no products. Or, to paraphrase the Japanese poet Ryunosuke Satoro, “Individually, we are one drop of coffee. Together, we are a whole pot.”
No business owner exists in a vacuum. There are myriad complex, delicate, and dynamic relationships that need nurturing in order for a retailer to find and maintain success. By understanding and valuing each of these connections, these relationships can be used to our collective advantage as we grow our businesses and develop a strong consumer base for fine specialty coffee. Let’s look at some of the bonds that café owners typically forge, and address the notion that it might take a village to raise a thriving coffee shop.