Sitting at Morning Times, technically a competitor, but I hate that idea. Even the word. Competitor. That word defined me in high school, sometimes in college, sports, academics, concepts of conquering the world with little knowledge and even less experience. But now I am older, 38 in fact. When I describe my outlook to people, I project to them my youth, that I am young, that what I am doing is ahead of my years. The truth is that I am old, the game is far ahead of me, running a business, understanding what people want, the fundamentals of being successful… I am just completely late to the game.
In one sense I think that may help, I am not burned out and wary of “competitors”. I have spent years working long hours for others, why not work long hours for myself. What is my point here? I hope to always stop by at different coffee houses here in Raleigh, and vocally support them, not bash the Raleigh coffee scene like some do, publishing in magazines that there is no good coffee in Raleigh. There is good coffee here, and sure it can improve, but that is true of everything.
I have high hopes for the future of Raleigh, if we can somehow temper the shitty development that keeps popping up, sorry, some of it is just plain shitty, even the Developers know it. How can you not? The only people that like it are the ones that $profit$ directly from it. But there are awesome people here looking to offset this McBuilding, people I have met recently like In Situ Studio and my architect, Andrew Osterland.
I can only hope people recognize passion over profit, and understand the unique position Raleigh is in. Raleigh is local, Raleigh is a town, a potentially great town, forget the city title, who wants it?? Let places like Atlanta and Houston have that title. Be proud to be small, just be smart as well. Support Local Raleigh is a powerful stamp. What Raleigh Denim has done is incredible, I hope that connection to Raleigh continues to grown and other businesses can grow with that wave. They are local, but also just opened a store in NYC at Barney’s. Ever been to a Barney’s? If not, it is where you shop with a glass of champagne in one hand, and a credit card in the other, expensive as heck but super classy. Good for Raleigh Denim, good for Raleigh.
I hope my approach to this whole thing works. Bringing other roasters into the cafe, promoting them, their specialties, their knowledge, their approach. I hope bringing in pastry artists, cake masters, and Mexican pastry masters will not bite me in the end. I am constantly being asked, “What are your margins? What is projected growth at 12, 24 months?”. I don’t know… you tell me. I just want to be happy and work on making others happy around me. I want great espresso, I want to teach without being a teacher, I want to listen before speaking. I hate numbers, but do not object to being wealthy.
Andy the Architect just came in for a coffee, sat down, and indirectly but completely echoed my sporadic machine gun fire intentions. I hope I can streamline not only my brain, but the process to make my space a good place, a place worth spending time in. Because time is valuable, no one has enough of it. It is almost noon now, I can check off one thing, blog post, now only 12 more goals to complete before the day is over.