I know, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog! But we’ve been busy!
In honor of Earth Day coming up this week, we had a team at my other Alma Mater, Duke University. They have quite a farmer’s market on Fridays and had an Earth Day theme for this market week; since we have such a sweet, earth-friendly roaster, we all thought it would be appropriate for us to make our market debut on Earth Day. So in between Tommy the strawberry guy (thanks for the asparagus, Tommy, it was awesome!) and Jason’s Deli, we sold quite a lot of coffee to the physicians and staff at the Duke medical center. To all you fellow Dukies, we say Thank You for such a great market welcome. We plan on being at your market every market day.
We debuted a couple new products this week. The first is our new Half Caf Blend. I must confess to not being a huge decaf fan, so when our recent customer survey said we needed a half caf, I swung for the fences. This blend utilizes some of my “comfort zone” coffees, beans I know are always exquisite. The downside is their availability is spotty (isn’t that true of all really great foods?), so if you want to try this blend order it now. Given the huge popularity of the blend, however, I will always have a great half caf on the menu.
The other new product was a spin on the classic Mocha Java blend that I call Mocha Java “Wild Type”. I’m not saying what it is that makes it so wild, but I will say this is a great coffee, one that qualifies as a Roastmaster Reserve. More importantly, I have gotten some preliminary customer feedback that indicates I’m not the only one that feels this way. So we will add this one to the menu later this week.
On Saturday we were at the Cary Farmers’ Market, where we had our first repeat customers. THANK YOU for your patronage, we are thrilled that you are enjoying the coffee. We also had some people take advantage of our order-ahead feature. Simply place your order on our web site, select the local pickup option at checkout, and add a comment to tell us you’ll pick up at the market. This is the only way we can guarantee you will get what you want – we try to anticipate the desired product mix, as well as the number of pre-ground we need to bring (no electricity to grind on site), but inevitably we turn away a few people who arrive after we’ve sold out of something.
It’s interesting to see the differences between markets. At Duke we had many requests for dark roasts and espressos. I guess residents still don’t get any sleep! We also saw almost no demand for pre-ground coffee. In Cary people are looking for milder coffees, and more pre-ground. Go figure.
So on Sunday we finally took a day off. Well, not completely off, of course, that would be crazy. But I did get in a long run with the Muddy Dog herself. Bailey is funny to run with; it reminds me of the opening scene in Talledega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. It opens with a young Ricky Bobby who says only “I want to go fast”. That’s Bailey. I got over to Lionel’s bakery for a La Farm loaf, had a leisurely press pot of Mocha Java Wild Type with some of my fancy Swaziland sugar, and I got a haircut (thanks, Nick), then went to the Raleigh farmers’ market as a customer. I did swap out some of our inventory there for some fresh stuff (say Hey! to Charlene when you stop into The Berry Patch in the upper building to buy our coffee). I bought some glorious peas, the first of the season. God, I love this time of year. They were so good the kids ate about half of what I bought for a snack, raw, when I got home. And the guinea pigs love the pods, which are chock full of vitamin C. My gardening plans were spoiled by rain, but we have learned to cherish the rain.
I have a bunch of blog topics coming up… I’ve been reading Marion Nestle’s new book, What to Eat, and have some comments on that. I’ve been getting a little more involved in our local Slow Food convivium and there are some upcoming events to mention. A few new beans to put on the website, and a couple new ideas we’re going to try as a result of our customer survey (take the survey here and help us serve you better). Stay tuned!