Holy cow, it’s been too long!

So much has happened since my last update.

A quick recap:

Intelli Silver Lake is kicking some serious booty (we’re not bothering with names).

At the beginning of the year I moved into west coast sales. I cover LA with two other sales reps, James and Marco, and I have the O.C., Riverside County, San Bernardino County and New Mexico all to myself.

I took a trip to Chicago AT THE END OF JANUARY.

I joined a gym because I’m starting to get fat again.

Lilly turned 3, so we had a princesses and pirates themed party.

I competed in the WRBC and placed 4th!

I competed in the USBC and placed 5th!

My wife proved time and time again that she is both supportive and amazing.

It’s been nearly 1 year since I started working for Intelligentsia and I must say, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. When Shar and I had our café, I just wanted to leave California, because I knew coffee was so much better in Portland, Seattle, Chicago and New York and I wanted to be a part of it so badly. Then last week I stood as a finalist in the USBC with 4 others from California and a lone gunman from Kansas, and I couldn’t have been prouder. Cali is finally being looked at as a home for amazing baristas and fantastic coffee. And I have the honor to be a part of it.

Making it to the finals could not have been possible without the help of several people:

Doug Zell

Fritz Storm

Steven Morrissey

Kyle Glanville

Deaton Pigot

Devin & Ryan

And everyone who volunteered to be a mock judge during my practice rounds. My apologies and appreciation to you all.

And my wife Shar who participated in mock judging, traveled to Berkeley and to Minneapolis and volunteered her time to help coordinate the competition, iron clothing and table cloths till the wee hours of the night and make emergency supper market runs for last minute ingredients and much needed milk.

Thank you all.

I’ll post more about moving to wholesale soon.

On the 17th day of the eighth month of the eight year of this millennium at 12(high noon) something happened. A shift was made. A community was brought together. Coffee farmers were honored. A shot was pulled.

I would say that this was a long time coming, that the wait was gruelling, unbearable at times, disheartening at others, and at one point I wondered weather or not it would actually happen. I say this having put the past three months into training for the opening of what could possibly be the best espresso bar in the world.

And then I think about Kyle Glanville. He’s been hear nearly a year working to get this shop off the ground, holding to the vision that has become Intelligentsia, Silverlake. I can’t imagine the pressure and frustration that has come with that.

Kudos to Kyle for his passion, dedication, hard work, tenacity and courage to see it through.

Kudos to Doug Zell for believing in the vision and throwing up the bank to make it happen. And again, congrats on the new store.

And now that the fluffy stuff is out of the way, down to the nitty-gritty.

The past three days have been insane! All three days I, as well as every other barista and barista assistant have put in over ten, sometimes 12 hours a day helping to unpack, stock shelves, dial in clovers and clean in preparation for Fridays big bash.

The bash, by the way, was amazing. Wine, beer, fruit, cheese, pastries and of coarse the star of our show… COFFEE!

All the baristas took turns steaming milk, pulling shots, pouring beer, working the clovers, running supplies and working the crowds. It was nuts. When I was working bar we ran out of espresso cups… twice! It was one of the best barista experiences of my life. The crowd was amazing. This neighborhood is so supportive and so welcoming they made our opening day more of a success then I think anyone could have expected. I think I can safely say that all of us are honored to serve the community of Silverlake.

Shar took some pictures. I’ll see if I can upload them soon.

Blessings

So last Sunday Shar did the flowers and coordination for a wedding. I recruited the help of some of my Intelli coworkers to help man the espresso bar as well as the beer and wine bar. It was a blast. 300+ people in the early afternoon outside in the 90+ heat. I wore all black thinking I’d look sharp… I’ looked dumb… hot and dumb. Stephen Morrissey came along wearing a pair of my black pants from my fat days one of my black shirts. I wanted him to look sharp after all. Kyle and Deanna also came to lend a helping hand, which we desperately needed. Shar did one of her famous fruit and cheese displays which the guests in attendance totally devoured.

Stephen took a couple of amazing photos of the day. These are all his… I just stole them.

So this is who I’ve been working with the past month and half:

Left to right:

Kyle, Devin, Ryan, Me, Jules, Deanna, Steven and Colin.

And big UPS to Stephen Morrissey for taking this picture.

In other news, it’s been a long time since my last post.

My time with the Klatch has come to an end. I wish I could say it was a good parting of ways and that we’ll all remain friends and there are no hard feelings. At least, that’s my hope.

All I can say is that I was offered a position at Intelligentsia LA that was better for me and my family(i.e. more money, less hours, benefits, better work environment).

Thats it.

My motives in a nutshell: Take care of my family to the best of my abilities.

I wish nothing but blessing for the Perrys and their business, and I hope that Heather kicks ass at the WBC. She’s a champion with a champions work ethic and I can only hope to aspire to be a fraction of the competitive barista that she has become.

Peace

Not Soon Enough.

I will be joining the team at Intelligentsia L.A. very shortly… more to come soon.