[Homeroast] OT: And then there were three....

Doug Hoople doughoople at gmail.com
Wed Jun 2 12:28:10 CDT 2010


At the risk of offending this entire list, I find the tone of self-adulation
in MiKe's small biz writeups, and the corresponding derision for anyone not
in his golden circle, a little hard to take.

Congratulations, nonetheless, MiKe, on your continued success.
Doug

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 9:04 AM, Marty Wooten <mjwooten1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Congratulations miKe and fantastic letter. Thank you for continuing to
> share
> the journey with us.
>
> Marty
>
> On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 11:33 AM, miKe mcKoffee <mcKona at comcast.net> wrote:
>
> > I know a few have been following my exploits taking coffee professional
> the
> > last couple years. At approximately 5pm last Friday finalized closing the
> > deal on coffeehouse number three. Java Nation Beaverton, OR is now fully
> > owned by Nor'West Coffee. I'll have to revise my original 10 year
> business
> > plan of opening 5 to 6 coffeehouses, one every 2 years, in Clark County,
> > WA.
> > My original vision was too limited being still impaired by lingering
> fears
> > of going head to head with Portland's Stumptown on their home turf. The
> > gloves are off! Hairbender has already been replaced by Delirium as the
> > main
> > espresso at Java Nation Beaverton and customer feedback has been
> excellent.
> > In just two days I've already heard from some customers what I've heard
> > many
> > many times before in Clark County, that's the best latte, cappuccino etc.
> > I've ever had.
> >
> > My blinders are off. Most likely Nor'West Coffee will be rebranded as
> Java
> > Nation soon. Plans are already in motion for the remodel and July 5th
> Grand
> > Re-Opening of downtown Vancouver's Paradise Café as Java Nation. Java
> > Nation
> > has a much more marketable ring to it than Nor'West Coffee thinking
> beyond
> > the borders of Clark County or even the borders of Washington and Oregon.
> > There are no limits other than those I impose on myself!
> >
> > Many of you have known Bryan for some time. Bry has been a true God send.
> > I'd like to share with you a letter I just sent to my staff. (Via our own
> > private staff email list that operates just like this one! Just
> discovered
> > I
> > had it offered by my domain host recently)
> >
> > ***
> > Hi Gang,
> >
> > Don't recall if I ever officially informed you of Bryan Wray's status,
> > other
> > than his biz cards saying Assistant Bean. :)
> > Bry is not an employee of Nor'West Coffee, he is a co-owner of Nor'West
> > Coffee. Bryan is an exceptional young man who's coffee career I've
> followed
> > for six or seven years from afar. We'd gotten to know each other over the
> > years via various online coffee forums. Early last Fall I posted on BX
> > (BX=Barista Exchange for those of you who aren't on that forum, highly
> > suggest it), anyway I'd posted I was looking for a coffee professional to
> > join the team of my young company. Being on the outskirts of the heart of
> > EspressoDom (Portland of course, not Seattle, depending on who you're
> > talking to) I fully expected to hear from serious coffee people near by.
> > Yet
> > almost immediately after posting on BX Bryan contacted me. Strangely (to
> > me)
> > I was also contacted by someone from Ithaca New York. Over the course of
> a
> > number of weeks Bry and I exchanged many lengthy emails and phone calls.
> A
> > seemingly insane plan ensued. There had been virtually no discussion of
> > "what will I be paid" etc. it was about our visions and dreams of the
> > future
> > in coffee. Bottom line Bry quit his Head Barista position at a place he'd
> > helped build from the ground up because he'd come to realize his coffee
> > journey would never go where he wanted it to go there. He simply gave his
> > notice, tied up affairs in Michigan and drove cross country to help me
> > finish the build out of the St Johns Roastery Coffeehouse arriving about
> > 8pm
> > or so December 18th. He called about an hour out, of course I was working
> > on
> > the build out. I asked if he wanted to go to our house or meet at the
> > Roastery, Roastery it is. I called Debi and had here pick up pizza and
> head
> > over to join us. We met, munched, talked, surveyed the disaster area in
> > progress, dreamed, dove back into working on the build out as Debi left
> for
> > home to go to bed. From that night Friday Dec 18th 'til we opened my 2nd
> > coffeehouse New Year's Day we worked side by side no kidding averaging 20
> > hour days. Working on the build out almost round the clock, while I split
> > my
> > time on the build out and keeping our downtown Vancouver location
> Paradise
> > Café running doing the shopping and roasting for there and wholesale
> > accounts. I've never seen anyone work as hard or long or tirelessly other
> > than myself. I've been cloned! And at this stage of the game Bry and I
> had
> > still had no formal or even informal discussions of monetary compensation
> > other than I was broke pouring every cent I could beg or borrow into the
> > build out and he kept saying doesn't matter, it's about the coffee and
> > it'll
> > work out eventually! Almost six months later Bry still hasn't been paid
> or
> > asked for a dime. No he isn't living in his car and going hungry, he was
> > and
> > still is living with us in our spare bedroom. And he gets some shift tips
> > from Paradise of course and all tips at the Roastery Coffeehouse whether
> > I'm
> > working there too or not. Truth be told he has truly become the son we
> > never
> > could have. While we still haven't gotten the formal paperwork drawn up
> Bry
> > is 25% owner of Nor'West Coffee. Because I say so and my word is my bond.
> > And when Debi & I both continue our eternal journey beyond this temporal
> > realm he will inherit full ownership. I had actually just started on
> > legalese paperwork when this Java Nation whirlwind first hit me May 4th
> so
> > it's gotten side burnered! While Bry may be young of years he is a force
> of
> > nature, wise beyond his years and a phenomenal coffee talent. Sure he's
> > young and has a lot to learn, and he knows it. Which is one of the many
> > reasons I respect him so much! I'm gittin to be an old fart yet one thing
> I
> > unequivocally know is the more I know the more I know I don't know. And
> > it's
> > especially true in coffee.
> >
> > Some might say Bryan is "lucky" to be given 25% ownership of a young,
> > growing, surviving the recession on the verge of really thriving coffee
> > business at such a young age. Wrong. Luck is when hard work and
> opportunity
> > meet. Luck is toiling endlessly to exhaustion and beyond with no thought
> of
> > recompense other than the far distant possible dream of success, and in
> his
> > case success of an enterprise that wasn't even his! Luck is working like
> > you
> > own it around the clock when you don't own it and then it happens, now
> you
> > own it too. Bryan has been "given" nothing, his freely given sweat equity
> > is
> > being rewarded. It's a truly rare individual who'd have the guts and
> vision
> > to leave his family and friends moving across the country to join my
> young
> > and struggling company without even a promise of minimum wage! Simply
> > because he shared my vision. We are both INSANE be warned!
> >
> > But insane in a good way. One definition of insanity is doing the same
> > thing
> > over and over and expecting different results. Not that kind of insane.
> > Cubicles are full of that type of insane. Dreams don't come true in
> > cubicles, merely bare survival. No, the kind of insane that doesn't
> follow
> > the masses. The kind of insane that doesn't believe it when someone says
> > something isn't possible. The kind of insane that would rather sweat
> blood
> > than quit even when the goal seems a far off haze. The kind of insane
> that
> > doesn't know when to quit but instead does what needs doing, whether you
> > feel like it or not, whether you feel like you're on your last breath or
> > not.
> >
> > Paradise Café has seen some rough times during this recession yet we've
> > persevered and kept the doors open. I thank you all for the continual
> hard
> > work you do. We're not out of the woods yet but the recession seems to
> have
> > bottomed out and beginning it's slow recovery. Yet insanity would be
> > continuing a business model for Paradise Café that hasn't really worked
> for
> > a decade under my and two previous ownerships. The work flow layout is
> nigh
> > on to impossible to be efficient and profitable, especially when it comes
> > to
> > food. I think we all agree on this! Your management team has been over
> > loaded beyond belief lately with the whirl wind acquisition of Java
> Nation
> > Beaverton and will continue to be for some time getting it pulled out of
> > the
> > quagmire it had been run into, but rest assured YOU are not being
> ignored!
> > One of the big hurdles in our plans for re-launching Paradise Café has
> been
> > jumped, finally finding a dual zone combination deli/pastry case at a
> great
> > price. Our plans are still to have the front bar redone incorporating the
> > deli case, painting and generally making us look and be new for a Grand
> > Re-Opening July 5th. AND you will no longer be working for Paradise Café.
> > No
> > worries, you'll still have your jobs! July 5th Paradise Café will die
> > forever and be reborn as Java Nation. No longer will you have customers
> > confusing us with Paradise Bakery or Paradise Pizza. No more where's the
> > hamburgers, fries, omeletes or pancakes! We ain't no greasy spoon joint
> so
> > kickin' the word café out the door! We are a high quality coffee centric
> > company (hell let's face it, we're fanatics:) that also offers some food,
> > not the other way around.
> >
> > Hold on to your hats, Java Nation Vancouver will finally fully become
> Clark
> > County's shining star of the Coffee Culinary World. Prepare to get
> slammed!
> >
> > You're a great team. Struggle on just a bit longer with the old ways of
> > Paradise Café, soon they'll be put to rest forever. Time of her Wake to
> be
> > announced at a future time:)
> > ***
> >
> > If you've read this far you're as nuts as I am :) Have a Great day!
> >
> > Slave to the Bean miKe mcKoffee
> > www.NorwestCoffee.com <http://www.norwestcoffee.com/>
> > URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:
> > http://www.mckoffee.com/
> >
> > Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I
> must
> > first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal
> enlightenment
> > found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone
> > before.
> >
> > Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archives
> > http://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
> >
> >
> >
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