It is hard to believe that it has been this long since our last shop update. We have been working full speed ahead on changes to the production in preparation for our coffee shop opening. I have to say, the most common question I get asked is, 'when are you guys opening?' My answer started with, "I don't know." Then transitioned to, "we're aiming for April." Then, "maybe May." Now I think it is, "I don't know" again. There is so much to do, and although we've done so much already, the list keeps growing.
The last couple of months, we spent a lot of time examining our coffee production operations and looking at ways to make it more efficient and use the space better. We pretty much redid our entire operation, and we love it! I don't know if there is a correlation, but Sarah and I talked yesterday that we could not think of the last time we made a production mistake. Let's go ahead and assume the changes have helped. It'll make me feel better. We've also picked and ordered our espresso machine, grinders, and batch brewer. We're working on the counter as we speak and are talking through many decisions on look/feel and goals with the shop. Jonathan and my dad spent a weekend making tabletops, and we're super excited about those. In fact, we're so excited we decided to carry the look into our espresso machine and sales counter.
To save you from the boring list of details we need to work through, I want to talk a little bit about what I had hoped with opening a coffee shop and what I already see playing out. One of the areas I think that Sagebrush can grow is our ability to connect with customers, producers, and the coffee community. Being an online business, we have a bit of disconnectedness; we're basically hidden online. I see that as a disadvantage. So, we thought by having a physical, publicly facing portion of a business, we could change that. I've seen the benefits already. Our walk-in customers are getting excited as they see the changes each week when they pick up their coffee. We've also had friends pop in a lot lately to see what is going on.
The biggest thing I'm excited about with the new shop is that this is truly the manifestation of a lifelong dream. When I was 12, I had a paper route and would get a latte on my way home each week. I remember always thinking running a coffee shop would be a dream job. Here we are 30 years later, and the dream is getting realized. I'm getting to learn a completely different side of the coffee business, and it is awesome! Personally, I love coffee roasting. I love taking a green bean and putting on display the hard work that the producers ahead of me in the supply chain labored over as they contributed to an amazing cup of coffee. I love manually brewing a cup of coffee. When it comes to these brewing methods, I think we at Sagebrush really excel. Our Chemex, cold brew, and V60 pour-over coffees are some of the best I've tasted anywhere. But when it comes to espresso and espresso drinks (the wheelhouse of top-tiered baristas), we have a lot to learn. However, this aspect of the business is where some of the best coffee is consumed. I'm very excited to learn this aspect of the business and drive Sagebrush to produce some of the best coffees for espresso possible. And that's really the goal. In every area of growth that we've decided to direct our focus, our number 1 goal is, "how can this new venture help us excel in what we do best, roasting amazing coffee?"
This leads me to the next phase of this project. We are waiting on the production of a few items, but then we need to learn how to run a coffee shop. Over the next few months, our goal is to learn that skill to bring people in the Chandler, Arizona area amazing coffee drinks. As for the customers across the country, we think and hope that these skills we gain in the coffee shop translate to better coffees for you as well.