GUEST BLOGGER TIME
Today we have a guest blogger, our very own - Jeff Poling. We figured we'll mix in guest blogs from time to time as we get back into our own blogging bell-bottomed pants and once again pretend we know all about this stuff!
So, without further ado...Jeff Poling has been with us for over a year and from the beginning "wow"ed customers with his latte art skills and made baristas smile with his punnerific (is that a word?) personality. For this blog, he wanted to catch our customers up on the happenings around the shop and the gratitude the team shares.
As I write this, my computer sits on my lap and I look down to see coffee stains on my shorts. My hands are numb and a bit callous from handling hot portafilters for something like 12 hours – just the way I like it. I believe that work is glorious, I believe that work has dignity, and I really, really enjoy what I get to do every day.
Most of that is because of you – the Lexington community.
When you walk in our wide-open door, you’ll see six words painted on the wall (at this point they’re covered in part by our massive condiment bar.) This is what they are:
Embrace community. Serve others. Create culture.
A little over a year ago, Sal and Chris opened the door to the shop with this in mind. This is the mission statement – this is the number one reason why we exist. As you all well know, they spent the next few months working tirelessly (well, they tired, but they worked anyway) at this very thing. While they were at it, they brewed hundreds of air pots of coffee, made loads of pour-overs, pulled countless shots of espresso and steamed gallons upon gallons of milk and did everything they could to serve the best coffee available…
…but the main thing was still the main thing.
It was still all about the community.
I’ll never forget that this was the most unique thing about coming to work here – I felt like I was reaping a lot of what Sal and Chris sowed – friendship. All you regulars who were there from the start welcomed all the new baristas with open arms. You didn’t just limit your conversations to be with Sal and Chris, and I’ve come to appreciate that even more as things have changed so much over the last few months.
As most of you know, but some of you may not – Chris got his dream job, and he’s now based out of Denver, Colorado. He’s doing something he’s always wanted to do, and we couldn’t be happier. He still loves Lexington and he loves all of you – but man, does he love his work, and we’re glad for that.
And Salvador has really taken on the consulting end of the business. There’s a little section on our website that will tell you more about it, but basically here’s the deal: Salvador is a business mastermind, and one of his goals (and of the company) has been that we get to share all the knowledge we know – whether it’s just about coffee or if it’s a lot more practical than that. So he’s still with us, but he’s helping other people open their own coffee shops in their own parts of the world and spread the same love and joy that we have here.
It’s for that reason that you’ve seen a lot of new faces, even in the last few months. Some things have changed around here, but some things haven’t.
See, we still have the same six words on our wall:
Embrace community. Serve others. Create culture.
That’s still our goal. It’s still something we strive for every day, even if we struggle with it at times. It’s still the reason we exist, and it’s still our number one priority – we strive to create all kinds of culture: from really great coffee to really awful puns; we strive to embrace every aspect of our community, from little kids who like hot chocolate and whipped cream to college students who only ever drink IVLs (who can blame you?) to the working-class 9-to-5ers who bring in their mugs faithfully for a $1 refill of our beloved coffee; and we strive to serve others in every possible way, from serving you a drink to being a resource for directions around town to taking pictures of you and your friends upon request.
Lexington, you’re incredible – every last one of you. We don’t see you just as customers, but as friends, and that’s how we want you to feel every time you walk in and every time you walk out and every time you see us outside of the shop at the grocery store or our favorite restaurants. We’re fortunate in that we have the best customers in the world, but you’re more than just customers – you’re friends, and we hope you feel welcomed and valued at every single turn.
And Lexington, thank you. Thank you for making it a joy to get up and get in here at 5:30 in the morning to start the coffee-slinging process and enjoy every second of it until late at night. Thank you for all the smiles, all the high-fives, all the hellos, and all the crazy songs you sing with us. Thank you for bearing with us as we adjust to a new organizational structure and things like training and operations, marketing, and purchasing are taken over by relative rookies.
Thank you for paying it forward both to your friends but also to complete strangers. Thank you for sharing tables together and making our little space work. Thank you for bedding in our new baristas and making friends with them. Thank you for trivia nights. Thank you for pop-up concerts in the park. Thank you for being a part of your community. Thank you for going to Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings (and sometimes bringing us blueberries and other yummy stuff – we love it!) Thank you for sharing your joys and your struggles with us. We know it can be harder when you have less of a chance of seeing the same two people every time you come in, but you guys still befriend us and you make our job a lot of fun, so thank you.
A whole lot can change over the course of a year, and a whole lot has. But the hope is that the love and the passion grows with time and with the more people we get on both sides of the bar. Thanks for your contribution to all of it.
We love you, Lexington.