Sunday, January 26, 2014

Time Flies...

... When you're busy and having fun.

This last couple weeks has been a full on whirlwind for me. Sometimes this can be exhausting, but in this case it's been really energizing and uplifting.

Since I last posted here I have launched a small business, begun running most everyday again, gone on a wonderful little 3 day camping trip with my family, and run my first legitimate race in nearly two years!

If you missed it on my Facebook, I have started a very small scale coffee roasting business out of my garage. I have been roasting my own coffee for about 4 years and decided to turn it in to a little side business.

The story of how this came to be is actually quite funny: We are moving back to Juneau to live year round this coming June. For several months now I thought that I might like to start a small coffee roasting business once we are living there again. I would get people to subscribe to a certain amount of beans per week, roast it up fresh, and deliver it to them by bicycle. Juneau seemed like the perfect place to do this. I know hundreds of people in town who would help with word of mouth advertising, and the type of community there is in Juneau is without question the type that would make a point to support something like this. The city is also so crammed into a small space that you could deliver just as quickly and efficiently on bike as you could in a car. Perfect idea. Except for the reality that another guy I know in town recently bought a small roasting company (who was already doing a fairly similar thing), and has plans to do exactly the same thing, even down to the bike delivery. He knows most of the same people in town, and has plans to roast and distribute beans to as many Juneauites as he can. I'm stoked for him. He's an awesome guy, and I'm quite certain his business will succeed. I tried a bit of his first batch of coffee last month, and it was tasty for sure. And that was pretty much the end of my business.

I got thinking though, why not do the same type of thing here in Boulder. Obviously the market is a lot more flooded with dozens (if not hundreds) of other local roasters, but there is also a much larger population here. And thus I decided to just go for it and launched Sugarloaf Coffee less than two weeks ago now. Business has been decent so far. I've sold about 25 pounds of coffee already, which is about as much as I would ever want to sell per two weeks. This said, it would be great to pick up some more local consistent customers (as many of my customers so far have been one time customers not from this area), so if you are in the Boulder area and are interested in this kind of thing be sure to check it out. I've had nothing but positive reviews so far.

Due to the the interest in my coffee from people outside of the Boulder area I also started selling my beans through the mail. Corle and I have talked for a couple years now about starting a "camp store" as part of our Alaska Mountain Ultrarunning Camp. Last week I decided to combine the two. I decided to offer mail order coffee as the flagship product to the new camp store, under the label: Juneau Mountain Coffee. The coolest thing about it (besides really good, really fresh coffee), is that we have decided that we are going to use a large portion of the proceeds from all camp store items to help fund the camp scholarship fund for upcoming years. $4 from each pound of coffee sold will go towards the scholarship fund.

Speaking of running camp, we also awarded the scholarships for this coming season a couple weeks ago. We are super excited about the applicants we had, and wish we could have given all of them a scholarship. If you are interested in attending camp this summer there are still spaces remaining for all 3 sessions. If you are interested in attending on a need based scholarship you would need to apply at the end of this year for 2015, as the scholarship period is over for this year. The scholarship program has been a huge success though, and we intend to do it as long as we continue to do the camps (which we also intend to do for at least a few more years).

One more quick camp related bit: JB and Jen Benna of JourneyFilm (makers of "Unbreakable", among other films) have generously offered to donate 50% of all proceeds on the JourneyFilm Store to my camp scholarship fund for one month (January 15 - February 15th)! Click here to check that out. They've got a lot of great stuff. I know you've all always wanted a shirt with me on it.

Oh, and now a bit about my running. I've been running more consistently the past couple weeks than I have in a long time. I've been feeling pretty good, and I find myself wanting to get out most everyday for the first time in a very long time. I'm being careful to not jump back in to it way too soon, but I did just run a 30k snowshoe race yesterday! OK, so maybe I'm not doing a very good job of not jumping in to soon. Be sure to check out my iRunFar column this coming Wednesday which will have a lot more details about how that race went for me.

And lastly, Corle, Elle, and I went on a lovely little camping trip last weekend. It was so nice to spend 3 straight days outside with the two of them. It was a really nice weekend, but was getting down below 20 degrees each night. Elle is so amazing now at dealing with such cold weather. She didn't complain about the cold once. I feel so lucky to have a 7 year old who will go camping in conditions that most adults would consider too cold. Hoping to go again this coming weekend. Maybe Utah. Here are a few photos from that trip to end with:


Emir said...

Things are looking up Geoff! Good luck with the new business and running! I must try some if that coffee. said...

Good luck with the business are you planning to sell to other countries like Australia?

Geoff said...

I'm more than happy to sell directly to anyone in Australia, but customer would need to pay all shipping costs. in this case it would be about $12 per pound for shipping cost, so it is really not very cost effective.