The Basement - The Z Beans Roasting Facility
We seemed so big.
My desk, the workbench, the cups, and the 100 pound bags of imported coffee enveloped the Innovation Center.
450 Third Street, Macon, Georgia 31201.
I type the address into my phone, excited to meet the owner of the building. I was told he had a basement he was willing to lease for a reasonable price.
I pull up to the front of the building - It's the Piedmont Brewery and The Lofts at Silver.
Scott Thompson, the owner of the building and one of Z Beans' investors, shows me the space.
It's a 3,000 square foot open canvas - a canvas I could turn into a roasting facility - a canvas that lies in the middle of Downtown Macon - a canvas that I could call home.
I walk in from the side alley - way and make and turn my head to the left.
It'll take some work - but has anything worthwhile ever came easy?
I tell Scott - you got a deal.
Immediately, I begin working on drawings of how I want my layout. The processing area, the roasters, offices. I think I got it. I send Scott the most detailed drawing my artistic abilities permit, and he approves.
Scott, being the CEO of Piedmont Construction Group, gives me a list of contractors I should contact:
Rightway Drywall, Pyles Plumbing, All State Electric, McCarty Heating and Air.
I tee it up.
The contractors begin their work, laying the foundation for walls, sinks, and a bathroom (which came later).
While I knew the contractors would handle the major projects, I reached out to the only man I know that could handle the most intricate ones - my father. Though we grow older, some things never change. Dad and I build a workbench - one identical to the one that I have had in the Innovation Center all this time. We build a storage rack, a border around the brick patio, and we paint.
One of the contractors offered to paint the place for us, but I have always had a tough time watching someone do something that I know I could do myself. Well, as soon as I laid the first coat of paint on the wall, I knew I had bit off more than I could chew. But, my friends, coworkers, and interns had my back. Sean McDermott, Nick Spear, Kyle Dockus, Jack Minozzi, Cole Fisher, Evan Sell, Carter Varga, Carter Canady, Ben Upton, Ben West and me - together, we knocked it out. Together, we scrubbed the floors.
Two weeks from when we had started painting and scrubbing, we completed the job. With the help of those men, the Z Beans Roastery took shape. A basement, built in the 1950s, had been transformed.
It's February 3, 2019. I have finally finished moving all of our stuff from the Innovation Center. I sit in my office, looking at an empty room. I walk out into the production area, and I see tons of empty space.
Just a few days ago, we seemed so big. But, now, we seem so small.
I hope The Basement will be the home of Z Beans Coffee for years to come. With a willingness to sacrifice and a consistent product, I'm sure we can fill this place up, too.
The Z Beans Roasting Facility
450 D Third Street
Macon, Georgia 31201