So I am currently working at a shop I started out at in January of 2009. I left in March of 2009 to go work with another shop, Cafe:ine, which I value very much. Upon returning to Cafe:ine, I began to see a lot of the flaws with the company and began to pick up on the issues we were having and how they were being dealt with. Our location was very difficult to get to, our target market was extremely small (cyclists), we changed ideas for the store quite frequently, disallowing our current ideas a chance to pick up, and our employees (other than a select few) were not experienced enough and weren't people persons. Earlier that year, when working at Chocolate Perks, I was basically acting as the store manager. Our actual store manager was inexperienced and brought much of his personal life into work with him. He couldn't be satisfied with the way he did things therefore he laid it out for other people to hear. The end result of this was an employee fallout and he shortly-there-after lost his job. In that time I learned a whole lot about the internal needs of a coffee house and the things that needed to be done in order to run one. Now that I have returned to Chocolate Perks, I see how successful it is. Although the recession we are currently in is affecting numbers and we are hurting financially, I am confident that we have not lost a bit of hope and faith that we will be okay. We are very linked up with our community and have been winning awards from both our county and our state for various different reasons. Some of those include "Best cup of coffee", "Best Power Lunch" and "Outstanding Community Representative." Our baristas love what they do and are hungry to learn more. And as a barista trainer, that excites me because I am able to utilize me skills to watch new and growing baristi do what we do best. Although this recession is hard on us all, we can at least hold our heads high and continue doing what we love until we collapse or until we fight our way through all of this.

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