I have been asked several times by employees to restate the vision of the commonplace, a where are we going from here kind of question. So, below are my thoughts:
The Commonplace was originally started to provide a place (for community buildup) and to provide the best cup of coffee we were able to make.
Now The Commonplace has grown, not just because of good opportunities – but opportunities that have surrounded people – whether that has been cafe owners or employees. This growth has shown that our true hearts for coffee surrounds helping other people be successful in their coffee businesses. The retail cafes serve to supplement income for the employees of Commonplace and as “testing” grounds for machinery, business ideas, and coffee execution.
It is still about the Place in the sense that is about People as much as it is coffee but it is also about pulling off the best cup of coffee we are able to make.
To further those thoughts: I am constantly encouraged by the response coffee people have about us – “thanks for helping,” they say. The reason we started roasting coffee and working for other cafes is because there were no local roasters offering assistance beyond just their products. And still, as a couple of new roasters have joined in the region we are confronted with the same task – not just to offer roasted coffee, but to offer: advice about business, advice about better execution of the cup at the bar, better communication about coffee to their customers, advice about machinery and what best suits their needs, advice about things like proper brew techniques, and sometimes helping invest in their business by paying The Espresso Analyst to fix their machines so they can accomplish better coffee in their businesses. It is refreshing to go to sleep at night knowing that I am not just selling a product but I am partnering with cafe owners to help their businesses.