Stories

Stories

Each week we offer a wide-open, transparent look at what’s happening at Summit Coffee — from the news, to the celebrations, to the failures, and back again.

  • 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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  • Jan082018

    What 2018 May Bring

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    By Brian. I wrote last week about saying goodbye to 2017, and all that it entailed: from the planned (an improved hospitality across our entire business) to the unplanned (um, two new cafes). I’ve felt for the seven years I’ve been owning and operating Summit that the most important thing we could do is build a foundation. A strong base…

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