This is the greatest blog I have ever posted...

It all started at 4:15am. I woke up after 4-5 hours of sleep, showered, shaved, dressed... no coffee yet. I get to the shop at 4:56 give or take. Amanda's mom drops her off as I begin the drip coffees. She's been having car trouble, as an owner you've got to appriciate an employee getting her butt to work on time at 5am without a car...

Shots timed and tested, bakery case full, coffees ready, chairs pushed neatly in to lined tables. Mmm... we're open.

5:30am: Small tastes of the daily coffee... Colombian Supremo Spectacled Bear light and Bolivian Colonial Caranavi medium. Glass of water. Double shot of espresso.

5:47am: Scones out of the oven. JP is the first customer. We talk for a little while. JP could talk for hours. He had to go cut down a tree at a property he manages. I wonder now if he finished before the snow started... It was frigged cold today. Who cuts down a tree in January?

By seven we're fully staffed. It was a steady morning. The rush came a little later than usual.

I had a new employee begin training today. Craig came in fifteen minutes early, a good sign for a new hire. He's got a lot of service experience but this is his first coffee gig. He's primed for it and I think he will catch on quickly and turn into a very productive employee. I've been wrong before, but I've also been right and with everything else in the world you've got to be optimistic about a good hire.

It takes me about 45min to read through the employee manual with a new hire. I always do it myself. I like to go over everything in detail. Verbalize what the expectations are. After two years and too many employees I think I deliver a pretty nice presentation. My favorite line is this:

If we act as if every customer we see has the ability to make or break our business we can't help but succeed.

It's cool... at two years I feel like we're on the verge of something. I don't worry that we won't make. I'm optimistic. The best employees are fiercely loyal and take the success of the business personally. That is a good good thing to have from a staff. It's stressful being a young business but it's rewarding to see steady growth and give your staff credit for it.

10:00am: I have Amanda and Dave begin prepping for a catering order to be delivered at 12:30pm. They do a good job, I don't micro-manage too much and I can focus on working with Craig and the bar.

I wiggle a little free time and I take the opportunity to work on my cappuccino... GLRBC in March. My signature drink is a work in process. Craig hadn't really seen a lot of latte art and I think it encouraged him.

The catering order goes out without a hitch. I'll bring more coffee to the location when I leave the shop in Jenna's hands around two.

No tragedies, no trouble-shooting needed... so far.

Did I mention one of my shift managers gave two weeks notice the night before and our womens bathroom is under construction.

Jason, my brother and partner, decided Sunday he would re-tile the womens bathroom. It needed to be done. So we re-tiled the womens bathroom. The grout's now drying.

As for my manager, it's unfortunate. She did a very good job while she was here and we will miss her. I could have guessed though. The week before she had dyed her hair pink... I knew change was in the wind.

A lot of changes after the new year at CC.

We turn two, well... today. So, happy birthday us!

On my way home at about 3pm I'm wishing I had to roast today. Jason roasted yesterday. I wanted to roast this morning... it's funny you kinda fiend for roasting coffee. Just like making and drinking coffee. Good business to be in I guess.

Then it comes... the text message no one owner ever wants to here.

Jenna: health dept is here!

Are you serious? Happy birthday to us. I call and tell her to make sure there is a bucket with sanitizer and rag under the bar and keep the scoop out of the ice. We should be alright, I can't think of anything else.

Except for the bathroom. ####!

You see, there are proper channels one must go through to re-tile a bathroom. Letters must be written and applications must be filed. Jason hand delivers an apology letter to the HD offices in Woodstock just before close at 5:00pm. We really had no idea. Sorry health department... please don't hurt us.

Everyday at a coffee shop is unique. Every person. Every story.

I get home... no more coffee. I've been drinking coffee all day long. Leinenkugel's Red.

Now, for no reason but today being Conscious Cup's birthday, I write my first and greatest blog post ever.

I'm sorry if you thought this was going to be the greatest blog post ever... it's just my greatest blog post ever.

Thanks,

Mike

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Comment by Patrice on January 15, 2011 at 9:19am
like this blog keep it on
Comment by Sasha King on January 22, 2008 at 7:08pm
Happy, happy birthday. I know nothing about your but with you continuous success and progress for the next year. Good luck and good job! I have no idea how far away you are from Chicago downtown but I am doing a little vacation/ barista tour and will be in town in Chicago in March. It'd be great to meet you!
Cheers!
Comment by Brian Bergman on January 22, 2008 at 10:22am
Love the post. You sound like a guy I would enjoy sitting down across a table from with a good cup keeping our hands warms. Alas, neither of us will ever get to sit down again...let alone at the same place. ;) Best of luck.
Comment by Peggy Gargaro on January 21, 2008 at 4:08pm
Mike:

Don't you hate when the health dept. shows up... First time they showed up at our shop..both my husband and I were at the SCAA conference in Seattle. Their timing is impecable.. BTW, nice blog ever :)
Comment by Bel Townsend on January 21, 2008 at 1:11pm
Hey, happy birthday and thanks for the entertaining blog! Conscious Coffee sounds like a fab idea too. Best of luck with the next two years.
H&S are EVIL I tell thee... many sympathies.
Comment by Jan Wardeska on January 17, 2008 at 7:43pm
Hi, Mike, that was the best blog post! Happy Birthday to you at CC. Best wishes with the Health Dept.... :)
Comment by Jason Dominy on January 17, 2008 at 7:04pm
Greatest, ever. Love the details, too. Made the blog come alive. And Happy Birthday CC!
Comment by peg bono on January 17, 2008 at 6:41pm
wow, Mike....you are the master!
Comment by Mike Shipley on January 17, 2008 at 5:31pm
Holy crap Mike! Thats the greatest blog post I've ever written.

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