Rank #1: 188 : Founder Friday! w/ Jon Allen of Onyx Coffee Lab
In just 7 years, Onyx Coffee Lab has become one of the industry's most recognizable, respected, and progressive coffee companies. Whether you know them from their championship performances on the barista, brewers, or roasting competition stage - their multiple Good Food Awards and Golden Bean coffees - or their effort in transparency and exquisite retail shops, Onyx Coffee Lab is an inspiration in presentation AND in substance to the global community of specialty coffee.
Today we get to talk with one of the founders of this awesome company, Jon Allen, and dive into the details of how he and his wife, Andrea Allen, built, grew, and operate this business.
I am thrilled to have been able to talk with Jon and to present this very insightful conversation to you all!
Enjoy be sure to check the links below to learn more!
In this episode you will learn about their:
- Vision and business philosophy
- Early and current expansion
- Discovery of strengths and weakness
- Delegation and appointing of leadership
- Development of their roasting program
- Approaches to hospitality
- Who they are aiming to serve as their primary audience
- Hiring practices
- Marketing and branding
- Onyx Coffee Lab
- Onyx on Instagram
- Interview of Andrea Allen reflecting on her 2018 performance on "Legacy"
- What your Roaster wants you to Know w/ Mark Michaelson, Onyx Coffee Lab.
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Nov 28 2019
Rank #2: 094 : How to Map it Forward w/ Lee Safar : Coffee career planning, setting goals, dysfunctional behavior, stop blaming, becoming professional, running a better business, increase wages
We all want a fulfilling career in coffee but often times we feel trapped and disappointed with where we are and cannot see the next move. Enter Lee Safar. Lee is the owner of "Map it Forward" and host of the "Map it Forward Live Podcast". She has amassed a world of experience and knowledge in her over 15 years of working in coffee and draws on both her expertise and other industry success stories to teach you how you can map out an amazing career, grow you business, and be a true professional.
In this conversation we discuss how she came to start Map it Forward, what surprised her about the state of professionalism in baristas, what dysfunctional behaviors owners and managers engage in that hold themselves and others back, how to stop the blame game, creating a win-win for for both employer and employee, setting goals, and advice for what both baristas and leaders can do immediately to start to Map it Forward and build a successful coffee career.
It was a great time chatting with Lee. She and her work are very much kindred spirits to KTTS on many levels and I hope you find thins episode to be inspiring and helpful.
Links:MAP IT FORWARD www.mapitforward.org The MAP IT FORWARD PODCAST: www.youtube.com/mapitforward iTunes
Elixir Specialty Coffee: www.Elixirfy.Me | @elixirspecialtycoffee (Instagram and Facebook) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jun 12 2018
Specialty Coffee Association Podcast
The Coffee Podcast
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Cat & Cloud Podcast
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The MAP IT FORWARD Podcast
Rank #3: 110 : A conversation w/ Matt Perger of Barista Hustle : Coffee education, standards, research, problem solving , barista training
Coffee education can often be a mixed bag. While resources presenting information on coffee and barista work abound, it is hard to come by reliable and well researched best practices that will genuinely help you make better coffee. Enter Matt Perger and Barista Hustle. Arguably one of the best coffee education platforms in the world, Barista Hustle focuses on providing trustworthy foundations in coffee education that you can build your knowledge base on and advance knowing it is built on sure footing. Matt's own propensity for wanting to solve tricky problems in the coffee industry along with relying on a strong community of like minded coffee professionals has fueled the success of Barista Hustle and impacted the global coffee scene in a massive way. Today we sit down with him to discuss what drives him in his pursuit of helping the world make better coffee, the founding principles of Barista Hustle, the importance of being expert in the basics, in-house training, proper use of outside resources, how the educational modules are built, the new Barista Hustle Unlimited education Subscription service, and Matt's advice for what we should focus on in the retail coffee world to do better in training and education.
I am so thankful and honored to print this conversation to you and I hope you both enjoy and benefit from it!
Stay tuned in through the end to hear a clip from upcoming Guest, James Harper's "Filter Stories" podcast. James will be talking with me about the power of story in an episode airing on September 25th.
Links for Barista Hustle:
Sep 11 2018
Rank #4: 206 : The Emotional and Social Impact of the Cafe Space w/ Noa Berger
The cafe is an institution of our social lives. More than just a spot to grab a quick coffee, the coffee shop is a place that carries with it a host of different sociological and emotional implications for the customer, the local and global community, and the ones who work within its walls. Having a grasp on these ideas is critical and today we are diving into the social intricacies of the coffee bar with sociologist, Noa Berger!
Noa is a PhD candidate at the EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) studying specialty coffee in Brazil and France Her research is part of the PSL project "Emodities: How Emotions Become Commodities" directed by Prof. Eva Illouz, a theme explored in her PhD and in the seminars she teaches (on consumption and authenticity). In addition to her studies, she teaches Sociology at both Graduate (EHESS) and Undergraduate (NEOMA) level and write for magazines (25 Magazine, Standart) and newspapers (Le Monde, Ha'aretz). Her professional experience has revolved around studying and "doing" culture. Alongside research, she has gained extensive experience working in communications, event production and journalism in the cultural and culinary fields, experiences she now mobilizes in her research into the sociology of consumption and the anthropology of food.
We will be discussing many things today including what do we mean by "authentic"? What is emotional labor and how does it apply to both cafes and farmers? What does the design of our cafe say about our values? The benefit of understanding our messaging to customers, and how to ask questions like a sociologist.
I love the rabbit holes and layers of thought we go down in this conversation and am so thrilled to be presenting it to you.
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Mar 10 2020
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Rank #5: 063 : What Your Roaster Wants You to Know w/ Rob Hoos : learning about roasting, roasters and baristas communicating with mutual respect, keeping water quality and ratio in mind, serving and roasting for your customers
There are a ton of factors that influence the flavor of coffee. Some of the most significant factors happen during the roasting process. Todays guest, Rob Hoos is author of the book Modualting the Flavor Profile of Coffee, a book that breaks down and explores those elements inherent in the roasting process. In this episode we talk about the book, his perspective on the roasting industry, the relationship between production and the shop, how the water and ratio you use in brewing may be giving you an inaccurate view of other roaster's coffees, how best to give feedback to the roaster, and how 83 point coffees can save the world. There's a lot more and I hope you enjoy this conversation with the great, Rob Hoos!
Dec 19 2017
Rank #6: 104 : How to Deliver Difficult Feedback w/ Tom Henschel : Why is it hard to give feedback, how to effectively give difficult feedback, 4 steps process model, developing your coffee shop staff, coaching, follow through
Giving feedback is not an easy task. We often psych ourselves out and/or procrastinate on delivering it, dreading the conversation and what might happen when we bring it up. This is especially true when the situation seems to be infused with tension. Fear not! Today we turn to coaching and communication expert (and past guest), Tom Henschel to help us navigate the task of delivering feedback effectively so you get the best possible outcome. We discuss why it is hard to give feedback, the importance of keeping things conversational, some key missteps that managers make when delivering feedback, and we explore a 4 step model that Tom uses with his clients that provides a great framework for that feedback conversation you need to have. We even act out a couple scenarios and direct them to give examples of what to do , and what not to do.
This episode is immensely practical and important. Tom, of course, delivers priceless insights and advice that you won't want to miss.
Be sure to go to www.keystotheshop.com/resources to download the PDF of the 4 step feedback model Tom has generously made available to KTTS listeners!
Aug 07 2018
Rank #7: 004 : Leadership in the Cafe: 10 Steps to Being a People First Leader
In this episode you and I get to discuss some practical leadership practices for the shop to help you keep people first. There are 10 things that, if implemented, will help anyone who is currently a leader or is aspiring to hold a leadership position in a cafe to lead effectively while also providing proper care for their staff.
Thanks for listening!
Show Notes can be found at:
Jan 17 2017
Rank #8: 140 : A Conversation w/ Erika Vonie, Director of Coffee at Trade Coffee : Professional journey, challenges of retail, green buying, learning about coffee, finding the right fit, how to make a global impact, valuing yourself, competition highs and lows
I am so excited to welcome Erika Vonie to the show! Erika is the Director of Coffee for Trade Coffee and she is the professionals professional. Her long and accomplished career in coffee has been comprised of great success in retail, management, green buying, quality control, customer relations, event management, competition, and much more.
Erika's energy and drive to learn, grow, and contribute to the industry is made very obvious in this conversation with is essentially a retrospective of her career. We talk about the road into coffee, competition experiences, the highs and lows of retail, what motivated her to go into green buying and the producing side of coffee, what would she change if she could go back, what is she most proud of, and her advice on how to make a difference from our places in retail.
I think you will certainly benefit from and be inspired by what Erika shares here. Enjoy!
Feb 25 2019
Rank #9: Gentrification 2 Ways : Exploring a mentality practiced in cafe leadership that is a microcosm of gentrification / staff culture /neighborhood needs / conversation not monologue
SHIFT BREAK #6 : Today we are exploring a mentality practiced in cafe leadership that is a microcosm of gentrification. Changing this behavior and mindset can stop coffee shops from being forces that aid in cultural displacement and turn into spaces that aid in cultural enrichment of both their internal and external communities.
Jun 21 2018
Rank #10: 152 : Jen Apodaca : Essential Advice for Starting a Roastery
So you want to start a coffee roastery. Well there is a lot that goes into it and an overwhelming amount of information you can access to help you along the way. Rarely, though, do you get the opportunity to sit down with someone who is expert in both roasting coffee as well as helping other people establish their own roasting businesses. Today we get that opportunity as we talk with the great, Jen Apodaca!
Roasting since 2005, she has experience on scores of different types of equipment, has roasted for Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia, and Royal Coffee. She is the Vice Chair of the Roasters Guild, the founder of #shestheroaster, and currently runs The Pulley Collective Co-Roasting space in Oakland and has launched her own roasting business, Mother Tongue Coffee.
She has helped countless people get their start in roasting, and today we get to count ourselves among those who have learned from her guidance.
In this episode you will learn about:
- Selecting a roaster
- What do you need to set up a roaster
- The pro and con of using the SCA cupping form
- Customer focused roasting
- Developing yourself and your coffees
- Responsible use of instruments
- Guidance for inventory
- The best mindset for success
May 06 2019
Rank #11: 185 : Exploring the La Marzocco Cafe w/ Amy Hattemer and Carolyn Reddy
One of the world's most compelling cafes is also run by one of the world most iconic and trusted espresso machine companies. Located in the lobby of KEXP, the La Marzocco Cafe in Seattle, WA has been operating for almost 4 years. Every 4-6 weeks the cafe is taken over by different world-renowned roasting companies who design a full experience that represents their brand to the guests visiting the shop.
La Marzocco Cafe staff and management are not only tasked with representing the coffee well in each residency, learning new workflows, and information - but they must also be able to communicate the ethos and vision of the resident roaster to the customers who come to experience what that particular roaster has has to offer.
When you are essentially opening a new cafe every month you need systems, communication, and the right people to work in this environment of constant change.
This is what we will be discussing today with the two people who head up this mammoth effort, Program Director, Amy Hattemer and Cafe Manager, Carolyn Reddy. Between the two of them we get an inside look at how the cafe came to be and how it operates such an amazing concept so successfully.
In this conversation you will learn about:
- The genesis of the La Marzocco Cafe
- Their hiring and training process
- Operation of a residency
- The values that drive the cafe
- The importance of feedback
- Managing change seamlessly
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Nov 11 2019
Rank #12: 123 : The 10 Essentials of a Barista Manual! : Writing an effective coffee shop manual, barista communication, management and leadership responsibility, casting vision, details of preparations, service, hospitality, dealing with harassment
The Barista Manual, The Book of Knowledge, That Binder That Never Gets Updated...whatever you call it there is usually some assortment of documents lurking in the cafe that is meant to be a resource but is more a source of frustration. Writing a high quality manual for the shop is absolutely critical to establishing a baseline of expectations nd equipping the staff and leadership to successfully operate the business day-in and day-out. Today we will be going over the top 10 things your manual must have to truly be useful as well as actually used.
I cannot overstate the importance of having a great barista manual. I hope this episode sets you up to write one that serves your cafe well!
Please visit the links below for further learning!
For resources on harassment and discrimination visit:
Nov 27 2018
Rank #13: 115 : Finding Success in Mobile Coffee w/ Tim Cox of Communion Cafe & Rail Cart Espresso : Preparing for catering, mobile events, pricing, menu design, customer expectations, Technical requirements, challenges and benefits
Mobile coffee service is an incredibly important element to a successful coffee operation. Be it farmers markets, luncheons, weddings, or concerts- breaking out of your four walls is the perfect way to get the word out about your brand to your community. It is, however, not without its challenges and does require you to take account of some key differences that you must prepare for to be successful. That's where today's guest Tim Cox comes in. As Co-owner of a brick and mortar shop (Communion Cafe) AND owner of a mobile coffee business (Rail Cart Espresso)he is uniquely positioned to teach us all about what it takes to find success in mobile coffee. We discuss the technical needs, menu design, pricing, site prep, contracts, managing customer expectations, and much more.
Get ready for mobile coffee success!
Oct 09 2018
Rank #14: 101 : Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Coffee Retail w/ Marshall Fuss, Attorney at Law : Coffee shop leases, business types, build out, partnerships, raising capital, and trademarks
There are countless details that go into setting up a great coffee shop. At the top of the list of priorities are the legal considerations that provide you with a foundation on which to build your dream cafe in a way that won't turn that dream into a nightmare. Today we welcome long time attorney and general counsel to the Specialty Coffee Association, World Coffee Events, and Coffee Quality Institute, Marshall Fuss!
We dive into 5 critical areas where most shops run into trouble and Marshall details how you can avoid mistakes in each of them. This is a VERY practical and valuable episode that gives you some serious keys to being a legally sound and thriving shop. I can't think of a better subject for ep.101 than some legal 101. Enjoy!
Jul 23 2018
Rank #15: 055 : Jared Truby of Cat & Cloud Coffee / Keys to Personal Growth & Development : Talking about personal development, learning from outside resources, vulnerability, striving for greatness, in barista and coffee work
Pursuing personal growth and development is one of the cornerstones of success and fulfillment in work and in life. Often we can get into such a rhythm of the day-to-day at work that we forget that there is a whole world of resources at our finger tips. Jared Truby of Cat and Cloud Coffee talks with us today about how seeking personal development with tenacity and purpose has helped shape his life and gives key tips and insights on how we can more effectively pursue personal development through studying outside resources and maximizing our present opportunities.
Who we are in the future depends on the decisions and we make everyday. It is my hope the this episode will help motivate you to take the reigns of your career and bring you closer to your goals.
Oct 31 2017
Rank #16: 169 : Designing the Guest Experience w/ Dr. Lisa Waxman
The design of your shop communicates the level of care you have for your customer and the community. Crafting the details of your space to evoke a sense of connection to place and a feeling of hospitality that matches the quality is absolutely critical. Today we are going to learn about the specific physical and social dynamics that guests look for in a coffee shop with special guest, Dr. Lisa Waxman!
Dr. Lisa Waxman, Ph.D. is an award winning professor and chair of the Interior Architecture + Design department at Florida State University. Her research includes topics related to the design of spaces that foster community, sustainable design, and design for special populations. She also serves on the board of directors for the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
Dr. Waxman has many scholarly and creative works to her name but we will be focused on one particular study "The Coffee Shop: Social and Physical factors Influencing Place Attachment"
In this study we learn of the 5 design considerations that customers most appreciate as well as specific social dynamics that all together influence whether or not a customer will feel a special attachment to the shop, which in turn inspires return business!
We dive into this study in today's interview and hit on several other great points to consider when you approach the design of your space.
I am truly excited for this episode and the impact it can have on the landscape of specialty coffee retail.
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Aug 11 2019
Rank #17: 083 : 6 Essential Books for Your Professional Development / Foundational ideas and knowledge that will set you up for success and fulfillment in coffee.
I love recommending great books! In this episode we talk about 6 books that I think are critical to your professional development. They cover everything form hospitality, coffee knowledge, operations, management, personal growth, and vocational calling and should be a part of your library. I want to do more episodes like this so keep an eye and ear out for tools focused episodes and a "Round 2 " of books for you to read.
It is my hope that at least one if not all these books have profound impact on your work and life. I know they have in mine.
Apr 10 2018
Rank #18: 196 : Understanding Consumer Preferences w/ Peter Giuliano
Learning about consumer trends and preferences keeps us sharp and relevant. How well our shops do will have a huge impact on everyone in the value stream of coffee and in order to do our best work we need to be paying attention to what the research says as well as doing our own research locally. Thankfully the SCA has been doing intensive consumer and retail research for over a decade and what they have found may shift the way you view your customers and your business.
To discuss the data with us today we are talking with the great Peter Giuliano, Chief Research Officer of the SCA and the Director of The Coffee Science Foundation. Peter has been in specialty coffee for over 30 years. In his long and illustrious career he has occupied almost every role both in the retail shop and roastery. You might also know him as being the former Director of Coffee and Co-Owner of Counter Culture Coffee. He has been deeply involved in SCA training programs, serving as Training Committee Chair from 2005-2007 and has been a volunteer for the Coffee Corps and other CQI programs.
Peter has always been a champion for coffee science and is truly thriving in his current role helping connect scientists, economists, sociologist, etc. with the coffee community to produce robust analytics to inform our moves into the future.
In this conversation we will dive into some of their findings from the consumer and retail research and discuss how it applies to what we do in the shop.
I hope you enjoy!
You will learn about:
- The importance of scientific research
- What "Specialty Adopters" and "Super Specialty" are
- How people get their taste preferences
- How to respond to large-scale studies
- The importance of local research
- What does the data show is encouraging and challenging
Find out more information here:
Got questions, comments, feedback? Want to work with KTTS Consulting? Chris@keystotheshop.com
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Jan 13 2020
Rank #19: 2 Qualities of Quality Baristas
There are many qualities that contribute to being a solid professional in the coffee shop. Today we are going to focus on two particular qualities that are very critical to get right in the beginning and can set you up for success in the future. Please share this and the related episodes below with your barista staff!
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Oct 03 2019
Rank #20: 028 : Why it's OK to be the Boss w/ Bruce Tulgan : A guide for defining and fighting the under-management epidemic in your so you can be the manager your baristas, staff, and shop need.
Today we are talking with noted author, speaker, and researcher, Bruce Tulgan about his powerful book, "It's Ok to be the Boss". We talk about the myths that managers believe that lead to what Bruce calls "The Under-Management Epidemic" and the very practical and simple solutions we can employ to become a great boss, truly empower our people, gain clarity, and create a great work culture at your coffee bar.
This book has had a huge impact on me and I know you will also be impacted and pushed toward being a great boss. I hope this interview is on,y the beginning for you.
May 30 2017