company - education - coffee

Monday, June 08, 2009

Building out the bar

Finished up some details at the shop today. Need one more day to be done and then I can focus on the smaller projects.

One of the side projects was to get my old grinder back in shape so we broke it down and Ben C. stripped the paint, a little base coat, and some new color (finished paint job to be featured with some photos of the bar later). I think we will eventually get to the other 4 grinders but this one was travel weary and just plain ugly having had it for a while now.

The bar top took me a few tries to get it down to the right tint. Had to strip it down and redo the whole thing to get the right match but I am happy with the current color.

I figure we can have the machine up and running once the bar top is hardened enough for the equipment to set on it. Tough business taking on all these projects and working a normal job. I really do enjoy it though. Strangely, there is a sense of satisfaction in being tired and covered in paint at the end of the night. Truth is nobody truly appreciates the details until they do them themselves for their own benefit.

Details are important though. With all the national roasters in town recently scouting for victims, you'd think Boston was the next big thing in coffee. Maybe, but Boston is a funny place. Locals are fiercely loyal to established businesses. As a new roaster, I have learned that you have to stay around long enough to get entrenched and then people will begin to give you a chance. After you have been around for a while, you are established and nobody around here roots against a familiar haunt. I'm not sure how roasters in other shipping zones will fare coming into town but who really can say? There are some large shops now locally who are shipping in roasts from out of region but how sustainable is that long term? I believe that in a few years the larger coffee community will someday see an explosion of true micro roasters that will break the string of Regional turned National roasters we have seen in the last few years.

Part of our own business model right now is to begin a movement towards zero waste and we started by using as much reused material as possible in building out the kiosk. We already recycle as much material as we can and have more compost than we know what to do with but I am talking more about the build out as a starting point for a more aggressive stance. It's not something you would see on our print materials or something we will market because roasting is not a very efficient use of resources to begin with but it's on my mind as we move forward. We paid more for VOC free paints but the upside is they were full spectrum and that was worth it on many points. On the other end were the oak counters that took us a while to get cut and mounted, then stained properly. Luckily there is a local reclaimed wood outfit just off Alewife Pkwy and we were able to get some really unique and charactered pieces of Oak. It was a bit tough matching them up but I am pleased with the hours put in. For smaller projects like the standing counter, I salvaged an old kitchen table left behind by the previous tenants. After some cutting, planing, and a little sanding, it's set for service. I even went as far as to cut up some of the pallets that had hard wood to use as fly board under counter and some shelving.

The remodel moves to the office areas next but it will return late summer to the front to work on benches outside and taking down the air conditioning system for a more efficient one. We are measured for a bike rack out front to be installed soon. Something we volunteered for on our block but is really obviously necessary. I seriously wonder if the construction will ever stop or just have brief intervals.