Behind every business there is a rock; someone that helps stabilize the business, furthers it along or even promotes product advancement. At Fig Leaf Coffee Company, I have to wear a lot of hats as the owner and operator. While roasting coffee is fun, I sometimes struggle to focus and keeping everything in perspective. Without the women in my life, my mother, my wife & my daughter, I am certain we would be unable to provide the quality service and products that we do.
Those that have been to the shop and purchased in-store likely know my mother, Gail. She can do just about everything here outside of roasting and payroll. Without her smile and warm customer interaction I could not run this business. I recently asked her why she likes working here (outside of being with me, her son). Here is what she said:
“I love working at Fig Leaf Coffee Company because I believe in him (Tom) and his knowledge of coffee from start to finish. He knows the detailed seed-to-cup process (growth, harvest, drying, processing and exporting). His main focus is sourcing from small coffee farms, only bringing in specialty-grade, arabica coffee beans that meet our quality standards. This is where he finds the highest quality beans.”
“I am proud to be part of his life and his growing business in the specialty coffee field. Customer have become like family members. I really enjoy having conversations with them as well as being helpful in guiding them through our coffee selections. Providing customers with information is so important in an industry shrouded in mystery.”
“His ability to teach me about coffee profiles and flavor notes has let me more fully appreciate each sip I take. I get excited as I look forward to each new offering we bring into the shop; new physical aspects, flavor notes, smells and ways to prepare it for the best outcome”
“One of the best things I love about being here is our camaraderie and ability to be open and honest. We can discuss new ideas, projects and growth potentials without feeling like it’s work”
I am super glad she still likes being part of this business and actively participate in daily activities. It means a lot to me.
Another amazing woman that helps this business function is my wife, Becky. She has been through a lot in the past few years, surviving inflammatory breast cancer. Through all of that she is still able to help promote the business and help make some of our products. Her support has been critical in making this business survive. A lot of the ground work that built this business came from her input directly. She is an RN with a difficult full-time job. Even after her long day, she is still able to come home and provide me with quality guidance and suggestions for the business. The ability to have a supportive, loving and caring partner while running this business is so key. For that, I am truly blessed and grateful.
Finally, I would like to recognize my daughter. Sophia has a heart of gold and her smile is pure love. To be her father makes me so thankful each day. She can take a business problem I have, simplify the issue and produce a solution much better than some of my most accomplished friends. Even if it is a simple problem just having her at the shop sometimes makes the day so much better.
This business is filled with a lot of hard work, dedication and sweat equity. Without the help and support of these strong women, Fig Leaf Coffee Company could not survive.
Customers that shop at Fig Leaf Coffee often ask, "Which coffee is the best?" There is no simple answer to this complex question and we can debate this topic all day. This question is extremely subjective and from my end should be based mainly on taste and benefit. It should also be partly based on quality of the coffee industry. I can tell you that brewing at home will almost always yield the best tasting cup as long as you're properly preparing it which leads me to the title statement - Not All Coffee is Created Equal.