Posts tagged Bridge City Coffee
First Employee, Partnerships, and Shop Update

It's quite humorous to look back at this post I wrote a year ago in July of 2017. I thought we were close to securing a storefront and that things were crazy then; if we only knew. But that's a huge reason we decided to chronicle things this way. It's too easy to forget things or create a biased perspective of how something happened. Writing about things as they occur not only allows people be a part of the experience but also provides an honest recap to look back on down the road.

Quick Recap Since We Last Wrote

I have started and re-started this post more times than I can count over the past few months. I wanted to provide more info but some things with other businesses over the last six months needed to be kept under wraps, some things were up in the air, and other times I was just too exhausted or defeated to write. It has been an insane roller coaster ride to say the least. Depending on the week, I may have written an update on anything ranging from buying a shop space to renting to nothing, starting back at square one. But through all that there have also been a lot of positive things and great relationships cultivated.

First Employee, Partnerships, and Shop Update

One of the relationships we have had a great time growing is with The Chocolate Moose Bakery. The owners and employees are awesome, not to mention that they make some amazing confections and savory things baked fresh daily. If you haven't checked out their bakery inside of M. Judson bookstore, you definitely should, and grab a cup of Bridge City Coffee while you're there. It has been great operating our mobile cart on their steps every Saturday during the downtown market, which has allowed us to hire our first employee! Brandon has been consistently working every weekend with us as well as roasting regularly with Jon. Not to mention he's a great artist and poet, check him out on instagram @seabrooks84. We have formed some other key partnerships that I'll write more on later as we solidify the details. A couple are local here in Greenville and a couple are going more in depth with some farm relationships.

Well, I can't hold back from writing about it anymore. If any of you know me you know when I get excited I'm like a four year old waiting to open a Christmas present. We're opening a shop soon!! In complete opposition to the last six months in general, this happened quicker and easier than we could have anticipated. We have a long way to go but started ripping out some walls and drop ceiling in the main dining area last week and it felt great. We'll be writing more details and posting new pictures soon so watch instagram for that.

 

Why This Is Being Written - Personally

I grew up in the rural North Carolina mountains playing soccer most of my life. Our town’s slogan was “2 hours from anywhere.” To fill you in if you’re not from a small town in the south - The hierarchy of sports begins with football head and shoulders above everything else. Baseball, basketball, track, golf, and wrestling descend in varying orders on a totally separate plane from football. Then far off somewhere in a muddy cow field you have soccer.

Anyway, when I was 13 one of my best friends, Zach, and I received letters asking us to play in a soccer tournament in Sweden. It was one of those things that a lot of kids probably received. But it was still a trip to Europe and the chance for some exposure to coaches and recruiters for club teams we never had where we lived.

I’ll never forget stepping on the field to practice before the tournament. There Zach and I were in Sweden with the rest of the team assembled from different states on the east coast ready to impress the world! I’ll also never forget what happened when the gravity of it all hit me and I self-destructed. My nerves got the better of me being around so much talent and I decided that it would better not to try and to fail rather than to give it everything I had and fail. I have regretted that decision the rest of my life and took more than a decade to truly get over it.

The point of writing that is to illustrate why I am doing this blog in the first place. While there is still a huge chance of failure, I refuse to be that 13 year old boy on the soccer field wasting his dreams away again because something is difficult and not guaranteed. If I fail this time it won't be for lack of effort and it won't keep me up at night wondering what could have happened if I had only tried. As painful as it could be to publicly fail, we want this endeavor to begin with the same level of authenticity we plan to fuse into our sourcing, operations, hiring, and final products. So we invite you to follow along as we attempt to build Bridge City Coffee and feel free to spread the word!

 

Why This Is Being Written - Broadly

Though there are many helpful and great books out there about people overcoming immense odds to achieve success, all of them I have seen or read are written after someone achieved that success. “Things were really tough, you know. Let me tell you how I worked through x, y, and z to get where I am now.”  There is nothing wrong with that at all. You know you will be entertained and receive helpful advice along the way. But you also know they succeeded at some point in the book while probably failing a few times along the way to present teachable moments.  Regardless of what happened, though, the outcome has already been determined.

I want to write something in the thick of it all where nothing is determined because everything is still being being worked for. On the journey to Mordor, I’m still in the Shire. For those of you unacquainted with J.R.R. Tolkien, if I’m traveling from Denver to Australia I just parked at Denver International Airport. Essentially, there is a long way to go. We have a map detailing where we want to go, but getting there is far more involved than simply planning a route. Also, I don’t have Gandalf, so that kind of sucks.

Honestly it is quite terrifying to start this. There is a sizeable possibility I could be writing the slow demise of my dreams, which began taking shape 9 years ago, for anyone to read…Perhaps I’ll write it all privately then publish it depending on what happens…Who am I kidding? No one is going to publish that. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first steps, Rome wasn’t built in a day, he who wants to build very high must dig very deep, and all that, right?  Here we go!