Not long ago I came out of the back of the shop to “the middle” where the action happens and the coffee flows. One of my baristas was there and waiting on the next car to pull up to make an order. She was busy cleaning up the espresso machine from the previous order as the car pulled in, so I thought I would jump in and help out. I used to handle customers day in and day out, but I have been doing less of that as we have hired more help and other responsibilities have been taking my time. I still love helping people who come in for great espresso drinks and I enjoy pulling shots and steaming milk… So there I was in the window, it was someone new, which is always fun because I can match the right drink to their tastes. Suddenly, my barista who had come right up behind me, blurts out “Hey! Do you want the usual? – Medium iced vanilla latte with soy?” I slid out of the way and let her do her thing. Wow, it used to be that I knew every face that came through, not anymore.
As I have guided this business through it’s first winter, spring, summer and now entering fall, I’m looking forward to our one year anniversary in business. I am feeling some of the “pain” of our growth, not recognizing and know all of the customers is just one of these pains. Growing pains are a good thing, I am not complaining that we have them. I haven’t experienced anything but growth and success since the beginning. I will always enjoy the day to day business of making coffees for customers. Coffee really is a passion of mine, and that has only grown along with the business.
Not too long ago I was cleaning up after closing with some of my family and talking about future plans, new locations and the potential of the business. Someone commented, “One day you’ll look back to how simple and easy managing a single shop is, and you’ll wish you could go back.” I can only hope that that will be partially true. I hope to look back with nostalgia but never regret or wish we had expanded.
I look forward to the new challenges of growth and expansion. I look forward to seeing the plans that I started developing several years ago start to unfold. Its exciting for me to see the hard work that so many of us have poured into this business start to pay off and come to fruition.
Even as we are feeling some growing pains now, we are only expecting them to continue as we look to expand our business around the Fort Bragg area into Fayetteville. We hope that this is as exciting for you as it is for us. So drop on by in the morning for coffee, and if I don’t know what your favorite drink is, don’t worry, I’ll slide out of the way and let your Barista take care of you!