I take out a piece of white printer paper, and I begin. We have a small corner to work with, but I know it can be done. This has the opportunity to be an incredibly efficient model - one that we could hopefully replicate many times over...
If there is ever a true need for coffee, I'd like to think it's in a hospital. Whether it's the support staff, doctors, or family members of patients, coffee is a must. However, what if a hospital has the opportunity to bring in coffee that not only taste good but aligns with the hospital's mission - a coffee that enables sustainability and a better tomorrow - a coffee that empowers.
These were the core principles that the Coliseum Hospital in Downtown Macon needed from its eventual coffee shop partner.
I'm sitting at my desk in the roasting facility, it's late April. My phone rings - it's Alyson Cozart, a lady I had met briefly through the Macon Chamber of Commerce. Alyson mentions that the hospital is interested in opening up a coffee kiosk inside the main entrance of the hospital. She says they are looking for a partner who would fit the hospital's mission, "Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life."
When I first heard the mission, it gave me chills. The simple yet powerful statement resonated with me. It resonated because it's the same values of the one thing that I have dedicated the last three years of my life: Z Beans.
Immediately, I told Alyson we were interested - that we were willing to do whatever we needed to make it happen. So, Alyson set up a meeting with all of us: John Ware, Kelly Lindsay, herself, Carter and me.
Now, I'd be lying if I told you that I was 100% confident that the kiosk would come to fruition. I had my doubt. I had my doubts about this large organization trusting a young entrepreneur - I had my doubts about this large organization trusting a small, startup business.
However, as soon as I met John and Kelly, I knew I wasn't looked at any differently than anyone else they would normally do business with. I knew if I held my own - showed up prepared, showed them I was willing to do whatever it takes - that this concept would become a reality.
Thus, as soon as they showed me where they would want the kiosk, I began brainstorming. I went back to the basement - to the office - and pulled out a white piece of printer paper. A few hours later, it came to life: the kiosk.
I sent a picture of the drawing over to John, and a few days later, he sends me over the initial mockup!
From there, we tweaked a few things, honed in on our suppliers, and laid out the location of our equipment. Over the course of 5 months, we were able to bring the coffee kiosk to fruition. All along, it was never a matter of if we were going to be able to do it but when. John and Kelly were both the consummate professionals who were a joy to work with. They expect a lot out of you, but if you perform, you will earn their respect.
On October 16, 2019, the coffee kiosk opened for business for the first time. While this is our third location, the shop will forever mean more to me. To me, it validated the prestige of Z Beans. For a large, successful organization, like Coliseum Hospital, to be willing to work with us showed that they know only respect what we do - but who we are. We are committed to the hard working farmers of Ecuador, like Coliseum is committed to their patients and staff. It's a partnership destined to happen - it's a partnership for which we are eternally grateful.
Thank you to Coliseum for believing in us and for allowing us to serve you.