company - education - coffee

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A revised mission statement

One of the key focuses of our business is very simple, we are about the barista. With a name like barismo, that seems pretty obvious but let me take a moment to refresh our mission statements.

In starting our business, we felt there was a gap in training and barista support, or customer service if you will, that led us to opening our own roasting outfit. That's the extremely abbreviated version but there is a key concept here.

Give people the tools to succeed.

I know, it sounds simple, but that was an earth shaking concept for us. Deadlines, contracts, posturing, and aggression are all too often the norm in this area. It took a little time for people to catch on to the concept that we were there with the genuine intention to support and help them. In every business, you tend to pay for the mistakes of those that came before you as much as you might also benefit from those same mistakes.

I believe that building trust starts from the beginning. Coming into every situation working on good faith hoping that investment and patience with any new account would lead to a healthy working relationship long term. Sure, we have parted with accounts and lost a legitimate return on the training and investment we put in with a couple of early adopters but I believe that is not a reflection of any lack in effort or good intentions on our part.

The most important aspect in building healthy relationships with those who represent our coffee is our employees. A manager or business owner must always be accountable for those who work for them. In fact, there is no greater statement about a business owner than the people they give the most responsibility to or let speak for them. It is in this one area that I think we really excel, having cornered the market on good hard working and well meaning individuals. Yes, we have some of the most head strong and independent people you could put in one room but that also has a bit of charm to it as they are full of good intentions.

We are very proud that our approaches in roast and brew method are tuned to a stylized interpretation of what tastes good to us. Taste being the imperative word. Meters and measures are fun so we use as much as we can for pragmatic purposes but they become entirely superfluous if the person using them refuses to taste the results. It is because of our own taste preferences that we have come to a unique style we feel separates us from the traditionalist coffee community. Our styles and brew methods are our own and we spend a lot of time tuning them to be proud of what we produce regardless of arbitrary standards set down by others.

We believe the measure of good taste is not easily attributed to charts and graphs or gold standards and this is why the barista is still essential. Interpretation plays a large role in what a coffee can be and this is where the roast and of course, the final stage with the barista is important.