Happy Thanksgiving! People all over this country will give thanks today for the many blessing bestowed upon them, including family, friends, the comforts of the USA and more.
We’re thankful for all of those things, too, of course. But there’s more.
Starting a company begins as a self-serving exercise. You’re presumably good at something you like to do, you want some change in your life, and you might even want to make a little money. All “you-centric” rationale. Sure, you want to share your particular brand of joy with the world, but honestly it’s less about that in the beginning.
Somewhere along the way, if you’re lucky, your plans get hijacked. By circumstances. By others. By something. And one day you understand the military truism of “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. Or reality, in this case.
And you adapt. Or quit. Along the way, you realize your interests are slightly different than you originally thought. So your plan evolves. And your company becomes something different, and hopefully better than you originally intended.
In our case, we woke up one morning with something resembling a retail specialty food business. Not exactly that. But not exactly a wholesale coffee business, either. A hybrid. One that reflects our customer base, and our interests. And one that has seized upon circumstance and opportunity along the way. As I sit in the roastery this morning, there is a batch of corn in the roaster for roasted grits. I’m looking at a freezer full of Grandview Farms grass-fed beef which we will be offering for resale to Tim’s and our customers. I am contemplating the best way to do an egg pickup from one of our farmer friends who asked us to make his eggs available to our customers through the winter. I placed an order for $300 Technivorm drip coffee brewers that our customers asked me to source. And I’m sipping a cup of Panama Esmeralda sourced by a friend I met in Ethiopia. Listening to Alice’s Restaurant.
Two years ago, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be doing ANY of those things on a Thanksgiving morning. Except listening to Alice’s Restaurant.
So I’m thankful for all the wonderful people we’ve met in the past two years who have shaped our journey. Chief among them are the farmers who grow the coffee and other food we sell. Trust me when I tell you that the only person who can make your food better is a farmer. Everyone else can only harm it or pass it along unmolested but for the little bit of value they add as they touch it.
But we are especially thankful for our customers. They continue to challenge us with their passion for food and life, and their generous friendship. Thanks to all of you. We hope you have a great holiday.
Now listen to a little Alice’s Restaurant with me.