Dear Roasterie Friends and Family, August 24, 2009
Wow, another summer has zoomed by! I hope it’s been a great one for all of you. For us, it’s been the best of our lives. We’ve had monstrous amounts of rain and everything is green and lush; incredibly cool weather so we’ve spent most of our time outside and the kids have us looking forward to every minute that we spend with them. August has seen some of the best weather of the year…and we just feel grateful to have all of this lushness around us. Growing up in Iowa always leaves me being nervous with feelings of scarceness when it’s dry…no such worries this year.
Okay, I have exactly 36 minutes to pound this out so it could be a record in terms of brevity :). Hold onto your hats and here we go!
Of course, it all begins and ends with the kids. My combined love of coffee, ice cream, adventure, chocolate, motorcycles and internal combustion engines doesn’t come close to my love of being a dad. I cherish every second and Carla and I still argue over who gets to put them down, give them baths, get them up, etc. I am as content as one could dream of being and I could go the rest of my life without another thing to be grateful for.
Terry started his second year of preschool at St. Peter’s and he’s also riding cycles with me…carefully. He absolutely loves it and last weekend we covered over 200 miles. He loves school, people, reading, and languages…life. Sophia is the same way but with a true ornery streak (like her mother :). You can look at her face and see it…and it’s true joy. Unfortunately, she’s the only early riser in the family so the rest of us are walking around like zombies and she’s like the little Energizer rabbit going a hundred miles an hour. She just turned one, started walking and is picking up 3 languages even faster than Terry. She loves being a daredevil and I can’t drive down the trails in the Mule fast enough for either her or Terry; they both crave speed…it’s in their DNA :).
This is going to be a whirlwind as we have so many things going on that I don’t have either the time or space to go through them all. Last weekend I told a friend that ‘they’re working me like a rented mule’, like the farmers in Iowa used to say. But truthfully, we’ve not had as much going on since we started the company back in 1993; and there is no let up in sight.
The Café expansion is under budget and on time. The outside portion is finished and we’ve added about 20 seats. You can also reserve private meeting space now (just call 816-333-9700) and the garage doors really make a difference on beautiful days. We’ll completely remodel the inside beginning in September and have it all wrapped up in October. They have had a blockbuster year, setting records in every category and just earned Kansas City Magazine’s BEST COFFEESHOP IN KANSAS CITY :)! The staff was thrilled and they’ve worked so hard as a team to deliver the best possible service to their clients. You can tell how much they care and how much they love what they’re doing.
We will also begin a remodel of the roasting plant’s offices, café, cupping and training rooms. When we moved in, we basically placed our offices where the previous tenants had had theirs and worked around existing walls, etc. While the plant layout was extremely efficient, the customer pickup, café, etc. were cumbersome. It will all change so that customer pickups are a breeze, you’ll walk into a “Café” and basically have an unobstructed view all the way to the roasters. The Café, training department and cupping rooms will all be contiguous and right next to the front door.
I mentioned before that I felt like Rip Van Winkle as it relates to marketing and PR these past few years since the kids arrived. But, he’s awake Team Roasterie has been extremely busy. Our exciting new product called “MyBlend” was featured in Oprah’s magazine last month and that really caused a huge increase in sales. It also led to a segment on the morning show of NBC…which further spiked sales. And this made us think of the idea of offering MyBlend specials to companies for their holiday gifts. Please just let us know if you are interested…it’s simple, affordable, effective…and very fun. Its available now on our website www.theroasterie.com.
Speaking of websites, our friends at Two West have really knocked it out of the park! We’ve completely redesigned everything and it is going to be so much easier to use. It was due to launch on June 30th but we added a significant amount of new products and services (wait till you see our new Flight School) and forced ourselves to wait and launch it all at the same time on August 30th. They have really done an extraordinary job and I hope you all check it out. And for the holidays, we love custom…custom blends, labels, gifts, etc. If you don’t see exactly what you want, just let us know and we’ll make it happen for you.
We’ve also redesigned our packaging and you’ll see this begin to roll out around the holidays. Thursday night, just before the weekend air show, we took pictures of the DC3 at the Airline History Museum to use in all of our marketing and packaging. We’ll make a donation to them instead of purchasing a stock photo and further cement a relationship that began when Normy and I joined back in 1996. And by the way, if you have not been to the museum lately, you need to go. It is one of Kansas City’s most unique attractions and it’s completely run by volunteers as passionate about what they do as we are about coffee.
We had a great trip to Peru around the end of June and discovered some awesome new coffees. It was actually my first trip and so exciting to have a brand new adventure. You’ll be seeing and hearing more about Peru in the coming year.
Paul (our Coffee Hunter) and I will leave on our Panama trip in October. We are going to visit coffee farms from Chiapas to Panama…in at least seven countries. It is going to be a great way to introduce Paul to our wonderful growing partners and give him a true appreciation of the relationship we’ve had with these folks over the last 15+ years. I took 28 days the last time I drove there but we’re going to do it in 13 days…have to get back in time to go see Notre Dame spank Boston College :).
Filter Fresh, one of our office coffee partners, approached us with a great idea; basically a “Coffee for Clunkers”. We thought it would be a lot of fun so we’re putting together a program as we speak where you’ll be able to upgrade your coffee brewing equipment as well as get rid of that nasty coffee that you might have laying around :). We’ll make a $10/case donation to Harvesters…and it will be fun all the way around. If you are interested, just hit ‘reply’ and we can get you more information. Remember, there is no law that says you have to drink nasty coffee in an office setting!!! Your staff…your customers are worth another $.02 a cup to drink some of best coffee on the planet! It’s the least expensive, most impactful employee benefit that you’ll ever invest in.
Tomorrow we leave for our annual family vacation to visit Carla’s family in Lebanon. We are so excited and somewhat anxious; Sophia tends to scream…whether she’s happy or not…so we’re going to bring packets of coffee to bribe all of the surrounding passengers :). Before the kids, we used to throw a few bags together and pack in a couple of hours. Now, it’s been two weeks and we’re north of 6 bags and 400 pounds! And each year, my one allotted bag gets smaller and smaller. It’s about a 27 hour trip, door to door, and I’m praying that Sophia saves the screams until we get there :).
One of the reasons this trip will be so special is that Stormin’ Norman will be joining us in a couple of weeks. He’s going to train our partners at The Roaster but we’re going to show him around and let him see the nightclubs that Beirut is so famous for :). Normy is such a history buff…it’s just going to be the trip of a lifetime for all of us.
As I mentioned, it’s been such an incredible summer. I hope that you all have had the same kind of storybook season. While we continue to work our tails off, it’s just been a blast to have so much going on in such dream-like weather. We are grateful for your support and continue to work like crazy to improve upon everything that we do. Continuous improvement is part of our daily mantra and we truly want to hear from you regarding ways to improve or new products or services to offer.
Thank you for being part of our journey. You’ve made it fun, challenging and rewarding…and we wouldn’t want it any other way. There are a number of other big projects and fun things that we’re building, but they are going to have to wait till next time. My time us up :).
P.S. I asked Dave Hermann, our Chief Coffee Officer, for ‘a couple of words’ about new coffee offerings…and he took a page from the O’Neill playbook…and used more than ‘a couple’ of words. But my my…they are some awesome new coffees and blends (try them iced). Just give us a call (816-931-4000) or go to www.theroasterie.com. If we get your order in the morning, your coffee will be roasted, packed and shipped the same day (nearly 100% of the time :)).
Our new reserve coffee is Tanzania Revuma
Altitude: 1200 to 1800 meters
Soil: Volcanic Loam
Processing: Wet, sun dried.
Certification: Café practices.
From high up on the rural plateau of southwest Tanzania comes The Roasterie’s latest exclusive limited reserve coffee, Ruvuma of Tanzania. This coffee takes its name from remote yet acclaimed Ruvuma growing region. Here small producers have come together to actively increase the quality of their coffee production. Our exclusive micro lot comes from one of these quality minded producers. Pulped and fully-washed in order to maintain a clean and sweet flavor profile, our lot has then been impeccable graded to ensure only highest AA grade would make it to our roasters.
You will marvel at the bright candy sweet acidity of this coffee which fills each sip with light toasted almond, cinnamon and ginger. Rich peach and dried apricot flavors balance a medium full body that finishes long and clean
Other new blends include
Spectacular and exhilarating, a total eclipse is a rare phenomena witnessed by only a few. It’s this dark and unique beauty that has been captured in our new dark roast blend. Total eclipse is unbelievably smooth and balanced. A harmonious mix of ripe black berry and rich dark chocolate explodes on the palate like sweet truffle, reminiscent of the exact moment the moon and sun unite in the sky. The finish is long and lingering with a syrupy caramel tone that is both clean and sophisticated. This is truly a luscious dark blend, and you may just remember for a life time.
2) Autumn Harvest
This taste of autumn is sweet and full bodied with rich nutmeg & ginger flavors. It’s the perfect coffee for those crisp fall evenings.
•Don’t wait to try this seasonal creation; it will only be available now through October!
Rwanda Bufcoffee Nyarusiza: 90
Praised for its spicy aroma, balanced acidity and body with subtle hints of floral and chocolate
Arbor Day: 92
Praised for its crisp sweet-toned aroma, caramel, pineapple, nut, and a hint of aromatic wood in the softly balanced acidity and body.