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.

  • Apr092019

    On Not Knowing

    2 Comments

    There’s some perception in leadership, rooted probably in hubris or entitlement or, perhaps just inexperience, that the more you accomplish the more you also need to know. That somehow promotions and new jobs, raises and bonuses, are equal to a spike in intelligence, or knowhow, and that as you head down this path there also is less room to throw…

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  • Apr022019

    On Recognizing Greatness

    3 Comments

    Editor’s Note: The following is an entry from Evan Pollitt, Summit’s Director of Coffee. He and Dora Callahan, our Director of Retail Operations, came home from a week in El Salvador with its best coffee (literally), a small hangover and having changed lives forever. Here’s Dora’s story, and now here’s Evan’s below. Photo credit: Victor Pagán / Cafe Imports Traveling…

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  • Apr012019

    On Working Harder

    4 Comments

    Editor’s Note: The following is an entry from Dora Callahan, Summit’s Director of Retail Operations. She and Evan Pollitt, our Director of Coffee, came home from a week in El Salvador with its best coffee (literally), a small hangover and having changed lives forever. Here’s the story. Photo credit: Victor Pagán / Cafe Imports We’re headed home, and I’m writing…

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  • Mar262019

    On Qualification

    6 Comments

    Long before I was a business owner, I was a runner. Before I laid out quarterly objectives (shoutout OKRs), I laid out quarterly training plans. Before I woke up at 4:45 to check Slack, I woke up at 4:45 to lace my Brooks and log miles around Davidson and its neighboring towns. Before I had trips planned six months in…

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  • Mar202019

    On Awareness

    5 Comments

    Last week I was made aware of a Summit barista who was experiencing some self doubt because they (name and gender redacted, and irrelevant) had been confronted with my least-favorite customer question: Do you know what you’re doing next? This question, of course, implies that continuing to work for Summit Coffee (or any similar business for that matter) is not…

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  • Mar122019

    On Trust

    1 Comment

    This Sunday morning, Tyler and I will take our two kids on an airplane, and then another, spend a night at 30,000 feet and wake up in Rome. For the first time since owning Summit, I am leaving the country on a non-coffee trip. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a vacation, since I will be plugged…

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  • Mar052019

    On Purpose

    No Comments

    About three years ago, though it’s hard to remember the month or really even the year, my father-in-law asked me if Summit had a “mission statement.” Sure, I said, and proceeded to wax poetic about the various things we did, and how we value relationships, people, etc. I was equal parts defensive, overwhelmed and scattered. “But do you have a…

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  • Feb262019

    On The Enneagram

    4 Comments

    It’s fair to say that I’m “in” on the Enneagram. A few months ago, I paid attention to conversations on the periphery. A few weeks ago, I chimed in with what I knew about personality types, particularly my own (all the Type 3s out there, raise your hand!). And now, I find myself instigating conversations on the Enneagram with anyone…

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  • Feb192019

    On (Small) Victories

    1 Comment

    I am extremely lucky that, because of my remarkably intelligent and high-performing staff, I have the space and objective to focus on the “big picture” for most hours of most days. Yesterday, for example, was a typical Monday and I spent time working on a Boston Marathon advertising experience (stay tuned), a mega cold brew expansion (stay tuned), a new…

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  • Feb122019

    On Failure

    13 Comments

    By Brian. It’s scary to fail. Little and big failures, short and long failures, public and private. Failing on any level is scary, and when you’re leading a group of people, failing hurts even more. I’m also encouraging a culture of curiosity, of taking (calculated) risks, of daring to be great and pursuing excellence in all things. And with great…

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