Today’s post is from our resident coffee expert (and dealer) Jonathan! I was so excited that he agreed to do a guest post on my blog. Especially since he doesn’t have kids yet! But that just shows what a super cool dude he is. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter here!
Hello Lil Kid Things readers! When Andrea took requests for guest bloggers I was nervous because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have anything worth talking about. And I was excited…that I might have something worth talking about! The following is from a meager blog that I had attempted to get off the ground. It’s been nearly a year since I wrote this post and as I re-read it a year later I still felt the same spirit and cautious optimism for the future.
When people ask me what I do, I tell them I sell coffee. Which is both true and a bit of a simplified over
exaggeration. Yes, I am a sales person within the coffee industry. I work at a coffee roastery and find new
places to roast coffee for, usually coffeehouses, restaurants, or grocery stores. This time a year ago I
decided to leave the roaster I had been with for another one and it was a little scary. The following was an
account of everything I that had been going through my head as I made a job transition during one of the
worst economic crises we’ve seen in some time.
So on Friday I resigned from my position as Sales Manager for a small local coffee company. As i
drove to my 8am meeting with the head honchos I looked back over the past 4 years and tried to
remember the good stuff…
– my interview for “shipping czar”…awkward first interview but was ready for a challenge and to work for a
small company that seemed so passionate about their coffee and their people.
– all the fun times around the warehouse through the years whether it was cupping a great new lot of
natural process sidamo, moving our desks around as the renovations happened, or the trade shows with
long days and longer nights.
– the thrill of a new account not because of what it meant in commission (the commission was barely an
incentive, much less something to get excited about), but that I was building a new working relationship
and effectively doing my job. And it was those relationships that made it fun.
Through it all one thing that I realize now more than ever is the value in those relationships and that a
good one is always worth fighting for. I’ve been blessed to have some amazing people come into my life
these past few years but in the end the one relationship that I couldn’t salvage was the one with my
employer. As unfortunate as that was, my time to move on came sooner than I had expected and I decided
to do something about it…work for the competition!
Something that I have always loved about coffee and been drawn to is the magic that happens
intrinsically over a cup of coffee. I don’t want to get overly sentimental and turn this into some sort of
Folgers commercial but if I’m honest, the best cups of coffee I’ve enjoyed in the past few years were not
completely centered around the appreciation of the farm or the brewing method. No, the appreciation
was the presence of friends and love. I always joke with people whenever they ask me if I’ve had Kona
or Jamaica Blue Mountain. They tell me it’s the best in the world and my typical response is “of course
you think it’s the best! Everything you did on your honeymoon in Hawaii was the best you’ve ever had!
– but have you tried this micro-lot from Colombia? It’ll knock your socks off!” They’ll kind of look at me
suspiciously but I understand. Chances are that it wasn’t the actual cup of Kona you had in Hawaii that
morning itself that was so great…it was the breeze from the ocean that blew through your hair as you
gazed lovingly into your new wife’s eyes wondering if things could ever possibly be better than that very
moment. So yeah, I’ve got no doubt as to the amazingness of that coffee!
What it all comes down to is that while most days we sip that coffee alone at our desk, there’s a huge
circle of people that have been a part of the story of making that cup of coffee happen. If we treat coffee
properly we’ll respect everybody involved in the process. We’ll have a better understanding of why it’s the
highest sold commodity in the world next to oil and hopefully we can eventually call it something more
than a commodity. We’ll have a sense of something larger and that innate need to create, respond, and
ultimately give love back.
If I could relate to coffee on a physical level, I feel like I’m still on the tree ripening. Coffee beans grow
inside of a cherry on a shrub. I like to think of myself as one of those cherries that’s not quite ready to be
picked. I’m not as green as I once was but am content to be where I’m at, soaking up the fresh air, feeling
the rain, and knowing that there is a future ahead of me that will transcend my place here and now. It’s
been a great journey so far and I’m ecstatic to see what happens next…