Author Archives: admin

Coffee Cherries in Bloom

Our coffee plant finally produced cherries!!! We’ve been tending to this thing for the last 4 years and after what feels like an eternity, we are finally entering the flowering and fruiting phase of this beautiful plant. This particular coffee plant has lived its entire life inside of a coffee shop and there’s just something inherently badass about that.

That being said… our yield is abysmal. So, if anyone has any grand dreams of purchasing a bag of house-grown and roasted coffee… It’s looking to be about $20,000.00 per cup. haha

Goodbye 2019. Hello 2020!

HANGOVER PREFACE
There’s nothing quite like starting out a new year with a hangover to really put things into perspective. My drinking days are way behind me and my body’s appreciation for alcohol has long waned. Alas, last night Lauren and I were feeling festive and since Indiana still thinks marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, we got our drank on. We had a good time, but today has been a chore. The weirdest part is that the hangover had a weird time-delay. I woke up feeling fine. I worked out, cleaned the house, took a shower and then BAM, felt like shit. Shit’s overrated. Moving on…

I’ve been pretty bad about updating this website. I think I only managed a handful of posts in 2019. I need to make a better effort to utilize this blog more going forward; if only as a means to better organize my own thoughts. My main issue is that I don’t sit still long and consider any time spent writing about past accomplishments would be better spent working on future accomplishments. At least, that’s the rationalization I’m working with at the moment. It’s not like Lauren and I are working 60-70 hours per week to build a culturally positive empire that’s poised to make our small city a better place for all of its inhabitants or anything like that. But I digress… Let’s dive into some recaps of important shit that took place in 2019. I’m sure some of this could get wordy, so if you’ve gotta rock a piss… now’s the time.

PERSONAL 2019 SHIT
Lauren and I bought our first house, so that’s kind of a big deal. It’s been on our to-do-list for quite some time so it felt great to finally check it off. Buying a house is no easy task when you’re a business owner, but that’s a whole different topic that could potentially become it’s own blog post so I’ll save that story for another time. We didn’t opt for anything giant and lavish. We opted for something that was just right. We wanted a place that we would utilize every room on a daily basis. Thanks to our awesome Realtor, Rachel… We found exactly what we were looking for. Sure, it needed a little work; but the layout and feel was on point!

Buying the house was just the beginning. Before we could get settled, we had to figure out how fit a move into our ridiculously busy schedule. I don’t know if you already know this or not; but there’s a lot that goes into a new house. All the cleaning, buying furniture, putting together furniture, renovations, and etc. The list goes on and on and this shit is not cheap. The house we purchased had an enormous and problematic shed in the back yard that required legit demolition. I mean, this thing was LARGE in a proper sense. So, getting rid of that thing took a good 2-3 weeks. The back yard is 100000x better now that it’s gone. I know what you’re probably thinking… Why would we get rid of a shed?! Did I mention it was FUCKING HUGE? There’s literally no reason for a house of our size to have that big of a shed. We don’t even have enough yard to justify it. The garage we have is more than enough. GOODBYE SHED and good riddance.

Next, we had to tackle the plumbing. We had decided from the get go that we wanted to rip out all of the supply line plumbing and replace it with PEX. The original plumbing looked like something you would set up to show plumbers how NOT to plumb a house. There were so many different types of materials that it made no sense. We had galvanized, copper, pvc, and more. The water pressure was awful and it was in need of some serious TLC. Luckily, we managed to get everything ripped out and updated in a matter of a week and now everything is great. We even went so far as to install a pretty baller water filtration system that’s optimized for coffee and tea. All in all, we’re pretty pleased with the new digs. We still have some electrical work to do and a guest room to get set up, but those are things for 2020. So yeah, the house is hands-down the biggest thing we’ve done personally this year. Shit, we even hosted the Reber family Christmas this year!

Alright… That’s enough about the house. You get it. There was a lot of other shit that happened too, but since I talked WAYYYYY too much about a house, we’re just going to move on. Oh, did I mention that Lauren and I managed to take a little time off and fly to Denver, CO for a long weekend? Yep. That shit happened. It was the first time I had flown since I was a little kid. It was a tiny plane and while I can tolerate flying, I don’t think I like it all that much. Shit’s for the birds. Colorado is dope (see what I did there?). We visited our long-time friends that are now part of the legal marijuana growing industry. I really dig how things are shaping up out there. I hope that more people come to their senses in Indiana sooner than later. Shit, most of our neighboring states are already moving in the right direction. I’m hoping it won’t be much longer for us. That way I won’t have to see CBD being marketed everywhere.

PROFESSIONAL 2019 SHIT
It’s been one hell of a year. It’s crazy to think just how many things have taken place. First off, we had a couple of key personnel changes pretty early on. We also had to shut down unexpectedly for a plumbing fiasco that closed the shop for a week for repairs/restoration. Plumbing emergencies are the worst, but our crew is bad ass and we all persevered through the mess and used the crisis as an opportunity to make things better.

Secondly, we started working on building a commercial coffee roasting and education center for The Caffeinery back in October of 2018. Being on a budget, it takes a lot of time for these sorts of projects, BUT with lots of hard work and patience, we finished the project and moved our modest little roasting operation into the brand spanking new facility in March of 2019! This is a really big move for us and for this community as it took a significant amount of investment from us personally to put this into motion. However, we wouldn’t be doing this sort of thing if we didn’t think it was the best possible move for the future of our business, staff, and community as a whole. We spent the rest of the year quietly working on layout tweaks and workflow so that when the time was right, we’d be ready to go. By December, I think we hit our stride and we’re fired up for 2020!

TLDR SUMMARY
2019 was packed with ups and downs, but at no point were we shook. Life will forever try to call audibles and alter your plans, but as long as you’re resilient, able to adapt, and ready to improvise… you should be able to find the lesson in every crisis and use it to your advantage. More often than not, what is initially perceived to be a negative will ultimately result in the option for something amazing if you’re open and understanding. You either made 2019 your bitch, or you became it’s. I’m sure 2020 will be similar in that regard. Cheers to all of you people that refuse to lay down and take the passive road through life.

PS
Maybe I’ll post some photos next to give some visuals to all this BS I’m spouting. Until next time!

When it Rains it Pours

When you own a business it’s a sort of anything goes type of situation. Act and react. There are good days. There are bad days. Sometimes there are bad weeks… And as of calendar year 2019, we’ve experienced what I would call a somewhat bad quarter. I mean, bad is a relative and vague term. It could mean a lot of things. In this instance, we’re just talking the overall stressors that come with managing a growing coffee company. Sometimes you trust people and give them responsibilities and they let you down. No hard feelings, you just learn, adapt, and carry on.

When you’re a business owner, a good day is when fewer things go wrong than usual. You have a bit more recovery time between the punches. Bad days typically mean that the punches keep coming and leave little time for recovery in between. The last few months have been challenging as we’ve been on the precipice of implementing a few major changes that will ultimately make us a much stronger company. Along the way, we had some personnel changes that resulted in a lot of training having to take place in a short amount of time due to issues regarding our trust in certain individuals being taken advantage of. This made the planned transition into these changes a bit more difficult than we had anticipated. That’s fine. It happens. Just brush it off and move forward. If it was supposed to be easy, everyone would be doing this.

The real kicker came when the main sewer in our building decided that it was going to stop working and we had to shut down for nearly a week for repairs and cleanup. Definitely not a fun situation. Alas, we took that shit in stride (see what I did there?!?). It was a great team building experience for our new team. There’s no choice but to carry on as it’s what has to be done. The longer you’re in business, you either break… or you get increasingly better at controlling your reactions to things. Desensitization. That, and having a solid crew of employees that were willing to put in the time to help deep clean and reorganize the contents of a business that’s been constantly adapting for the past 5 years. We took a catastrophe and turned it into opportunity. We made it our bitch. Hats off to everyone that pulled up their sleeves and made it happen!

The thing is… You know it’s going to get better. It’s not always going to be a struggle. There are always brighter days ahead. So, you take the good with the bad and vice versa. We’re A-Okay and stronger because of it; but, man… it was some bullshit for a little while. So yeah… There’s a little update of what it looks like behind the scenes. Don’t let problems get you down. Just make them your bitch. Cheers!

Thirty Six

Tomorrow I turn 36. I feel every minute of it. Each second of tireless gravity crushing down upon my bones. Of course, I’m choosing to write this entry at 9PM after a long day, longer week, and even longer month. It’s at these times when you get straight to the truth… when we’re tired and hungry.

For the past five years, I’ve spent nearly every day working alongside my amazing and wonderful wife running a coffee shop with extremely high expectations. You know, living the American Dream proper, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a fun and rewarding experience, but after five plus years of 7 day weeks with hardly a day off, both Lauren and I can feel a bit spent at times. Day in and out we are constantly busting our asses so that our community can enjoy some of the best coffee and service available. I want it to be known that by and large, we have the best customers on the planet. Now, you’re probably reading this and thinking that you work hard. I’m sure you do. However, the majority of you have no idea what it’s like to do this for five years. There are very few of us in this club and that’s because it’s fucking difficult. Most people either go out of business, or just quit because of the sheer overwhelming nature of the beast. We’ve put off dinners, weddings, parties, gatherings, funerals, and countless other activities for a long time now.

This year we’re going to attempt to change things up a bit. Simple shit… like trying to prioritize time for ourselves and begin to take more of a back seat at times. We’ll see how it goes. After all, we can do our best to make plans, but they are only good until life calls an audible.

I’m about to be thirty six and I’m not even close to being done with my conquests. So here’s to 2019 bringing great things our way. Thanks for reading.

Steve Albini Interview 2018

For those of you that have had the pleasure of working with me as an audio engineer… or perhaps you have been in the coffee shop and noticed there is a drink titled “Steve Albini…” this is the guy. He’s a solid mentor and I deeply appreciate his views on the music industry and the overall creative processes involved. I hadn’t seen this interview until earlier this week and now that I’ve watched it twice, I wanted to share it. Enjoy.

That’s enough rambling out of me for the moment. I’m going to go grill some chicken thighs.

DIY BBQ RABBIT HOLE

Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them just dress normally and spend copious amounts of time building smokers in their garages. Thanks to this video, I’ve now spent the last hour watching DIY smoker builds. Now I need to find someone to teach me how to weld.