Over the past few months, I've not only been really busy with work, competing, planning, but I've also been sort of despondent on Sacramento coffee. I've come to realize it's not the coffee scene, per se: its the people behind it.
Let me explain.
In the early part of the 00's, Naked Coffee opened in Sacramento. At the time, it wasn't revolutionary, but it certainly turned the Sac coffee scene on its head. We were a town accustomed to Java City, coz well, it's from here. Naked offered an opportunity to have better coffee, and a helluva better atmosphere. Years later, two of Naked's employees would leave to start Temple and Old Soul, respectively. Both of these places strived to better the coffee, moreso than Naked did. And they both acheived this, Old Soul roasting its own, and Temple using Barefoot Coffee Roasters, out of San Jose. What all three of these companies did, though, is cut off themselves from one another, so to speak (yes, I know Temple uses Old Soul pastries, but I'm talking coffee). All of these places find themselves to be in competition. For a decently sized metropolitan city, Sacramento can certainly sustain more than 3 coffee houses. Chocolate Fish came along and has done the best job, hands down. Not only are they using a superior product, utilizing Ecco and Ritual Roasters for their beans, but they are the only coffee house that runs a transparent business, and employs, hands down, the most coffee-driven baristas in Sacramento. But, everybody can't ever seem to meet on the same level.
And this is really offputing.
Finally, we're at a time in Sacramento coffee that we have enough business' and people to make something really cool happen. We can keep progressing together, and really putting Sacramento on the map. What we have, instead, is a bunch of knuckleheads convinced they're the King Turd, and instead of helping each other out, or even CUPPING THE OTHER DUDES COFFEES, they limit themselves to a self-inclosed bubble of closedmindeness, one that lacks integrity. For repping a product that is such a community oriented item, such as coffee, too see all of these people being so closed off about it is disgusting.
The big problem is the way these business' are set up: Sans Chocolate Fish, all of the three aforementioned Sacramento coffeehouses are built around this 1950's type of plan where you get good, not great, product, charge as much as you can while keeping all of your overhead low (mostly sacrificing your employees), and skim as much as you can off the top. I don't understand this, because it's been shown this works for a bit, and then ultimately you'll end up still searching for more profits when your business has plateaued. I also don't understand whey you would rather have 13 so-so people on your staff at minimum wage, instead of 8 awesome baristas at a higher wage. Yes, it comes about the same, but the quality is that much more. For example, Chocolate Fish: all of their employees can cup all of their coffees blind, and nail EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. No other place in Sacramento can boast that.
What I'm trying to say is that, the scene here needs quite a bit of work. The next few years, with Chocolate Fish, Temple, Old Soul, and now Bloom up in closeby Roseville, the scene is gonna keep turning, and I'm gonna do my damnedest to make sure we dont plateau for a good long while.