"Behind the Seasons" is a post series we're doing to shed some light on what we do backstage. With BtS, you'll get insight into the inner thoughts and workings of Seasons Coffee.
The following BtS post is by Benza Cox Lance, Director of Coffee and Co-Owner of Seasons Coffee
BtS 2: Why no retail coffeeshop?
This is a question that we get often, and it's a valid one at that. Coffeeshops are an essential part of the social fabric of any neighborhood. For centuries, cafes served as the local meeting place for everyone to gather to celebrate, philosophize, learn, and share. This is an undeniable fact, and one that we embrace wholeheartedly.
When it came time for us to decide on a brick and mortar location, the immediate thoughts were enwrapped in where and how, which are obvious questions. One of the main aspects of the retail coffee experience that we just couldn't get around was the "standing in line" factor. It was at this point, after years of working in, managing, and opening my own coffee bars, that the fear crept in.
"We're not going to be able to do anything different than the standing in line on this budget. Even if we did have the budget, are we inventive enough to take this cafe and take it to 11?"
Unfortunately, the answer is "well,...not yet".
The overwhelming feeling of relief and anxiety was now at the forefront. No barista staff, no milk deliveries, no pastries...and also no walk in traffic. No immediate "Hey, a new coffeeshop!" sensation.
This allowed us, however, to shift our focus to our website, coffee quality, and various avenues to share our coffees through. We spend our hours coding, sample roasting, and doing quality tastings; instead of having to deal with running a coffeehouse, we can simply deal with getting the best coffee to you in any other way possible.
To this extent, most of our work is done via the web and our marketplace. This is our main hub for coffee, and we try to lay things out simply and tastefully. Our second agenda is slinging coffee to wholesale customers that share our same thoughts of high quality product, preparation, and execution. Thirdly, we're going to start doing pop up events shortly; hopefully we can still have that one-on-one engagement in unique environments that helps us convey how we do things.
Conclusively, the lack of a retail location gives us the freedom and creativity to do out-of-the-box engagements. Our future probably holds a retail location at some point, but for the time being, we're just focused on slinging awesome coffee.