January has a way of bringing on reflection - on beginnings, on progress, on the year behind us. As if we weren’t nostalgic enough. This year, we thought we’d share our reflection with you. Glance back at 2018 with us, by the numbers.
November brought the hard-earned opening of our second location, a warm and bright spot we gratefully share with the folks of Landmark. Located in Greenville, SC, this shop extends the soul of our original location and our roastery into a quiet neighborhood spot where we serve coffee, pastries and milkshakes (!!!) next to the thoughtful, nostalgia-infused retail of Landmark’s Flagship space.
This just in - dreams do come true. We’ve been dreaming and, dare I say, scheming up ideas for a food program for a long while. The day finally came in late 2018 when we hired our chef, Sydney Taylor. Sydney has launched our small plates menu with great aplomb and it is paying off. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are rendered to culinary magic in her skilled hands, and we are so happy to have her here.
Roaster competition placing
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. In fact, it makes us better roasters, better tasters, better baristas. Competitions help us focus in and sharpen our skills. Plus, they’re really fun. In 2018, we placed higher than we’ve ever placed in a competition. Our Kenya Kii came in 2nd place at the Charleston Coffee Cup in Charleston, SC. We’re ready to take on even more fierce competition this year.
Listen, we like beverages. That’s pretty clear, right? And because we’re in the beverage business, teaming up with breweries is kind of a no-brainer. In 2018, we had the privilege of joining forces with 13 Stripes, right here in Greenville SC, to create their Barrel Aged Nitro Coffee Double IPA (a real mouthfull!). We also worked with Highland Brewing in Asheville, NC to create Imperium, a Russian Imperial Stout that dropped on January 25.
Years in business
4 years old. We’re out of infancy, out of toddler-hood. We are full-fledged children - running free through the backyard with our voices raised to the sun. What an honor, and we have you to thank for all this growth. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Non-profits donated to
Let’s take a break here. It’s true - we couldn’t do anything without you - our neighbor, our friend, the coffee drinker who makes this whole operation even possible. But this one right here, this one is deserving of an extra shoutout. In 2018, we were able to donate money and coffee to Project HOPE Foundation, March of Dimes, Frazee Center, Susan G. Komen, Miracle Hill , and Friends of Reedy River. Thank you for helping us help others. Let’s do this more often, okay?
Items added to the menu
The Yule Pine, Cold Brew Horchata, The Sutton, and yes - PSL. 2018 brought out our experimental side and had us concocting these (and other) tasty drinks to add to our menu. Methodical Baristas are encouraged to try out new ideas, experiment with flavors and textures, and watch what happens. The results? Delicious.
4 AM. Warm up the roaster, roast a batch. 6:30 AM. Fire up the grinders, pull a shot, adjust the grind. 7 AM. Nine roasts in and going strong. 9 AM. ~40 shots pulled, adjust the grind again, brew a 3rd pot of drip coffee. And on and on and on. Sometimes we think our equipment works harder than we do. We put it through the paces, and in 2018 our repairs and maintenance included grinders, espresso machine, batch brewers, and our 12 kilo Diedrich roaster. This calls for a shot of espresso. Shout-out to Slayer for going above and beyond in customer service.
When we opened the doors to our downtown shop 4 years ago, there were 6 baristas running the show. Since that day, our numbers have rocketed to 22 as we’ve added a roasting program, a second retail location, and a food menu. In 2018, we put 11 new baristas through brewing and espresso training. Each new person adds something spectacular to our team.
I’ll tell you where you can find us on the first Monday evening of every month - upstairs at our downtown shop, going over some talking points and slamming some pizzas. We like to touch base with each other - baristas to roasters, owners to employees. We like to stay on the same page. Our monthly meetings help us stay connected. They also help us eat much, much ‘za.
Cold brew horchatas served
Greenville has spoken - the official drink of summer 2018* was the Horchata Cold Brew. We already can’t wait for summer ‘19.
*this is purely speculation and not at all based on any data.
Each day, our roastery crew huddles around 9:30 AM; some are just arriving, others have already been there for hours. Each day, they have one singular objective - get the coffee roasted, get the coffee shipped. It’s a process that works like a well-oiled machine, and if we can get everything packed and boxed by the time our FedEx guy comes to pick up at 4? We might even crack open a self-congratulatory beer.
Pounds of Natural Guji roasted
If Ethiopia is the “Queen of Origins”, then natural processed Ethiopian coffees are the diamond in her crown. Our natural Guji is a surefire facet of that diamond - juicy berries and a bright, lively acidity. This coffee is a house favorite, and our numbers show it - we’ve more than doubled our roast production from the previous year.
Tres leches served
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Tres Leches has been your ride or die since day one - smooth, caramelly sweet, with just the right ratio of coffee to milk.
Oh, hi there. Yeah, you - the one with the black and white floral printed paper cup in hand, the one with the watercolor blue bag of beans on your counter, the one sipping slowly from Blue Willow china. You’re the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, and all manner of things lovingly belonging to various fauna. We like you, you make this whole thing worth while.