2018: A Year in Review
It's January 2, 2018. I say goodbye to my parents and head back to Macon. The habitual itch to work has got the best of me again.
I plug in the new chicken rotisserie - made coffee roaster, load up 6 pounds of beans, and watch it roast. 40 minutes later, I take out the beans and scatter them on the drying table my father made. I shake the beans while the box fan cools them - chaff flies everywhere. 10 minutes later, I'm left with a clean, freshly roasted coffee bean.
I repeat the process - over and over again.
10 hours later, I have 50 pounds of beans - that should last me at least a week.
It's December 26, 2018. I say goodbye to my parents and head back to Macon. The habitual itch to work has got the best of me again.
I receive a phone call - "Shane, can you have Carter send in the employees' hours, so we can get payroll processed?"
I make another - "Mackee, Is there anyway you can add some additional outlets in the offices of the roasting facility?"
And another - "Carter, do we have enough coffee at the shop for the remainder of the week?"
It's crazy to think just how far Z Beans has come over the past year. From utilizing a chicken rotisserie - made coffee roaster to our coffee shop, we have taken many steps forward.
My father and I always like to exchange quotes, and just a few days ago, he sent me one that will forever resonate: "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." - Theodore Roosevelt
The only piece that I'd like to add to the quote: "... the chance to work hard at work worth doing with a friend who feels the same way."
I consider 2018 a success, not because of the coffee shop or the additional corporate accounts we've been fortunate enough to add, but because of the full-time commitment Z Beans received from Carter.
Many of the great businesses in this world were founded by two individuals who brought different skill sets to the table - Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman: without either of them there wouldn't be Nike - Bill Gates and Paul Allen: without either of them there wouldn't be Microsoft - Ray Kroc and Fred Turner: without either of them there wouldn't be McDonalds.
While Z Beans has a long ways to go before it can be mentioned in the same breath as those giants, the concept of partnership is valid. 1 + 1 does not always equal 2. Just ask Stewart Vernon, the founder of ASP Pools, in the case of successful partnerships 1 + 1 = 3.
Carter and I are both grateful for the opportunities afforded to us in 2018. We have both learned a great deal about business and ourselves. However, we are excited to move on to 2019. A new year brings a clean slate - a set of new opportunities and a set of new obstacles.
Lastly, and most importantly, we want to thank you. Without your support, Z Beans would not be where it is today. We hope to continue serving you in 2019!
Shane receives the chicken rotisserie roaster, replacing the popcorn popper
Z Beans partners with Phoenix Coffee Roasters, contracting out the roasting
Carter and Shane graduated from Mercer University
Carter makes a full-time commitment to Z Beans Coffee
Shane travels to Ecuador for the fourth time
14,000 pounds of Ecuadorian Coffee arrives in Macon, Georgia
The 14,000 pounds marks the first time Z Beans successfully imported by boat
Z Beans agrees to its first deal with Central Piedmont Investment Group
Z Beans opens its first coffee shop in Mercer Village
Z Beans agrees to its second deal with Central Piedmont Investment Group
Z Beans signs the lease for the roasting facility located in Downtown Macon
Purchased 14,000 pounds of coffee
- Average price point: $2.30:
--$1.28 above C Market Price
--$.90 above Fair Trade Minimum Price
--$.60 above Fair Trade, Organic Minimum Price
- All money paid directly to farmers via Bank Wires or Cash (Z Beans incurred the bank wire fee). No middle man received any cut of the farmer's revenue.
- Z Beans added two new farmers, Victor Mendrici and Milton Rivadeneira, from the Ibarra region of Ecuador, which is located in the northernmost part. We plan to purchase more coffee from this region this upcoming year.
- Z Beans imported 200 pounds of honey processed coffee. The coffee has been very well received. We plan on bringing in 500 pounds of honey processed this upcoming year.
- 20 Machetes
-- The machetes are the most important tool on a coffee plantation. With slopes that are extremely steep, farmers have no way of utilizing heavy machinery, thus a sharp machete is a farmers' best friend.
- 50 pounds of coffee seeds
-- The greenhouse where Arturo works manages the first few stages of growth of a coffee plant before then giving the plants to farmers. The city of Zaruma purchases seeds for the operation. Z Beans has purchased 50 pounds of disease resistant seeds for Arturo and his crew to manage. The disease resistant strands, if managed properly, can last over 40 years. Most importantly, this ensures coffee farmers a productive crop year after year.
- Organic Fertilizers
-- While all of our Ecuadorian coffees are processed organic, many farmers do not have the ability to purchase their own 40lb bags of organic fertilizer. Z Beans donated over 800lbs of organic fertilizer to help the farmers improve their fertilization methods for next harvest season.