i spent the past few weeks preparing for 2017: action items, deliverables, a budget, buzz words, etc. like any other business owner does. when i came into the office on january 2nd, however, i took a moment first to reflect on 2016. i can’t move on and look forward without first stepping back and trying to capture everything that happened last year. (this is a political free post). i issued the directive to our staff to “be remarkable” in 2016. so much so that they probably roll their eyes any time i mention the “r” word these days. but, when you wrap the 12 months into one snapshot, it’s really the best word to encapsulate our accomplishments.
- in our cafes, we went topless with our drinks to better represent the craft we put into each cup. our baristas are super talented, and we put lots of time and energy into training, so why would we make a beautiful latte and then put a lid on it? kindred wouldn’t serve their food in to-go boxes. it was a big step forward for our brand from a coffee quality standpoint.
- to partner with that move, we made a big switch to all local dairy. summit goes through more than 150 gallons of milk each week, and we source it all from homeland creamery in julien, nc, now. local milk is delicious, and now we can ensure that one of our most important ingredients was sourced properly.
- we took a serious leap of faith and paid to be the main cafe sponsor at the annual specialty coffee association (sca) convention, in atlanta. with our roasting operation growing, we wanted to introduce summit to the global coffee community and there’s no better way than serving 10,000 people over 6 days.
- at our basecamp location, thriving on Main St since 1998, we upgraded our bathrooms (much needed), installed air conditioning upstairs (much appreciated) and completed construction of a new stage on our back patio for live music and other events (much anticipated). we also redid part of our floors, painted our ceiling and hung new photos to better tell the summit story.
- at our outpost location, we continued with our blossoming events program. we hosted six beer and wine dinners, which all sold out, and continued to push the envelope on craft food and drink in davidson. we also hosted our first coffee brunch, an event that was a huge hit (for the customers AND us) and will now become a mainstay offering.
- at our roastery, we roasted a coffee that took home first place in the north carolina commercial coffee roasting competition. we’ve been super excited about our coffee quality, so to win that award against some other terrific roasters in the state was a tremendous honor.
- on the road, evan and brian made summit’s first trip to origin. we served on the jury of the huila best cup competition in colombia, and bought our first four direct trade coffees from the farmers we met down in south america.
we have big plans for 2017. we are competing on the national coffee scene for the first time in the us coffee championships later this month. we’re implementing a new hospitality training program. we have a summit baby on the way!
but 2016, you were remarkable. you showed us that we’re capable of so much more than we anticipated. you challenged us, you made is cry, you made us laugh, you made us argue (just a bit) and you made us hug (a lot). thanks for all that you had in store.
now, it’s time for 2017. cheers to that.