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.



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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!
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

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, 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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