A New Era?

My silence in the last couple weeks has been genuinely due to a lack of activity. My life has basically been two weeks of bar shifts and a slight re-evaluation of life, time, and finances. All in all, I guess you could say with the new year comes new ambitions, and I have been fighting to gain a clear perspective of what mine should be. The most outstanding and highly prioritized, simply being to find my way out of the debt my (un-)education left me with.

The other side of it all being where I want to go as a coffee professional. I want to get better and faster on bar. I want to exercise my palate more, and try to line up more with our QC people here in LA. Oh, and I really want to cook more… I feel like there is much I can learn about any kind of food preparation from cooking. Cooking is definitely in my plans for the new year.

For the moment, our turn-over at the cafe has been ridiculous to keep up with.  Not in a bad way. Nick Griffith and Marco Torcasio are out. Both moved onto wholesale. Our manager is retiring from bar work due to surgery he had on his back, and other positions are drawing others out of the cafe. I’m now beginning to appreciate the two months of focused training that went on in June and July. We’ve hired 5 new people to fill the gaps and each is becoming increasingly aware of the bar and what out goals are as a cafe. One of the girls is already learning to pull shots… Which is rare here. She’s been tenacious since the moment she was hired and it’s paying off.

However, we need more time to train. Cuppings have been rare due to increased business and a less experienced staff. So, to allow us more time to train and more balance of our resources, we’ve decided to cut back hours during the work week. Starting Monday, we’ll be closing the bar at 8PM. Fridays through Sundays we’ll still be open until 11, but the rest of the week people like me will be able to live a normal life. This makes me ecstatic. Fear has been on my mind with us coming into the competition season. I really wasn’t sure when I was going to get a chance to prepare for the WRBC, but this will allow the time.  I’m thinking this is going to be a major burden lifted off of many backs. Already I feel more like a ‘normal’ person, as our wildly planned schedule has had me tense and sweating for the last few weeks. I think the end result will be something we’ve all wanted to see. Less crazy hours will equate to more time to decompress… allowing us to maintain a more cool-headed mood on bar.

Over-all, I see us being able to grab the reigns of professionalism once again. It’s a fresh year, a young staff, and whole lot more opportunity. In the past few weeks, had I told you to stop by, it would have been to simply see a friend and share some coffee. Now, I’ll be telling people to stop by so we can actually give them an experience.

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