Stories

  • Jan142019

    On Breaking Through

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    By Brian There was a brief moment Sunday night when I lost it. Completely overcome by emotion, and completely surprised by that, I started to cry. In a room with 500 screaming coffee people (lots of jeans and boots and beards), I was standing in the very middle. There was pandemonium around me, a mix of deafening cheers and continuous…

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  • Jan112019

    On Relationship Coffee

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    By Brian In February 2016, on the same Sunday that Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos beat the hometown Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl, Evan and I were a continent away hugging a Colombian farmer we’d just given a life-changing amount of money to. We were somewhere between 2 and 11 drinks deep when we raised our hands, again…

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  • Jan042019

    On Rebranding

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    By Brian. In a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, 84% of consumers believe that leaders “sharing their reasons for business decisions” builds trust in a brand, making it the single most important direct-to-customer communication strategy. So as Summit flips the calendar from 2018 –> 2019 with a rebrand, here’s a glance inside the process. In his landmark…

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  • Jan022019

    On Curiosity

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    By Brian. During the fall 2018 semester at Davidson College, Andrew Kelleher (our COO) and I co-taught an independent study with Davidson’s economics department titled: “Economic Analysis of a Small Business in a Monopolistically Competitive Environment.” In non-higher education terms, we worked with professor Fred Smith and five Davidson students to study how we run our business. At the end…

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  • Sep182018

    A Week of Events for 20 Years

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    As Brian notes in our blog, Summit turns 20 this September. So to celebrate, we’re bringing a week full of events and specials to Davidson (and Cornelius). Monday, September 24 | Trivia with Alex at Basecamp, 7:30pm Tuesday, September 25 | Happy Hour Education – Brian recounts his sourcing trip to Peru, 7:00pm Basecamp Wednesday, September 26 | $1 cappuccinos all day Thursday, September…

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  • Sep182018

    Celebrating 20 Years

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    By Brian. Summit is almost legal. Twenty years old. 20! And we’re celebrating with a week of events in Davidson (and Cornelius), so check those out here. But I also have some thoughts on turning the page on another Summit calendar. I joined the Summit team as a barista in 2004, a sophomore at Davidson College and totally green to…

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  • Jul122018

    on a mission, and the people behind it

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    by Brian. Approaching coffee, community and collaboration with remarkable hospitality and a commitment to excellence. That’s our mission, at Summit Coffee. Read it again. I wrote it, rewrote it, trashed it, started again, made it tighter, sharper, more honest, and yet I still look at it every day. That’s how I knew it was our mission, for the present and…

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  • Jun282018

    on being the first visitor

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    by Brian. I will never forget the moment when I felt, for the first time in my life, new. It was a Tuesday night, around 8:00pm, and I was sharing a beer with some other coffee people in the downtown square of Querocoto, Peru, a town of 400 people who lived and existed a six-hour mountain bus ride from the…

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  • Apr062018

    on unknown coffee varieties

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    by Evan. Flashback to a pretty ordinary day at the Summit Coffee Co. roasting facility. It’s the beginning of a busy production week and so far everything is going as planned. It’s going to be a steady week, but not uncomfortable and most of the week is pretty well outlined. Then I received an unexpected email… “Your mission, should you…

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  • Mar012018

    a measurement in harvests

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    By Brian. Running a company that operates 12 months/year and 7 days/week makes it hard to measure time. Not in that I’m confused what month it is (though, honestly, that’s often the case). But rather in, how do we measure a year in Summit time? For Andrew, our newly promoted COO, it may be in a fiscal calendar. For Matt,…

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