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

Dave Nielsen dave.l.nielsen at gmail.com
Tue Jun 8 13:00:22 CDT 2010


My local coffee shop!  The quality started to go downhill so Pat and I had
quit going, nice to know we have a good coffe shop in Beaverton again.  See
you soon!


On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 8:33 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 Hairbender has already been replaced by Delirium as the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.
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