Thursday, November 28, 2013

Today's the big day!

This might be the longest day I have ever stayed up.  It's getting close to 4am and I'm suppose to get up again at 4:45 to go serve coffee to the runners and families of the Skinny Turkey half marathon in Raleigh.  It's our first official event, although we are MOST DEFINITELY still in beta mode.  Today was the first day we checked our plumbing in the trailer and sadly, our espresso machine isn't ready to make her grand debut.

The good news is we have some AMAZING coffee that we can't wait to share with the world!
     (The Ethiopia Kochere is particularly scrumptious)

There's no way that I could have gotten this far if not for the METICULOUS, DEDICATED work of these three people:

Bethany, Cam, and Julie.

You guys just knocked my socks off this week.  You have been working with me, sweating with me, laughing with me, and crying as we try to get this thing off the ground.  Now we are here and it's all because of YOU!  Thank you!

Today we finished the plumbing (with advice and counsel from Mark of Carrboro Coffee), solid oak trim on the counters, crown moulding, curtain install, and cabinets.  We received our first shipment of milk from Homeland Creamery (thanks to the awesome folks at Respite for their help!), our first shipment of cups, lids, etc, and we got our register.

It seems crazy that we are actually going to try to serve coffee out of the trailer even though we JUST finished it up today, but that's how we roll!!

Watch out Raleigh!  Here we come!


P.S. Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When a light is more than just a light

Caffe Bellezza now has lights.  It took about 2 hours total, and a number of creative "turns" but I was able to install two sets of energy efficient CFL track lights.  These hook directly into the solar panel system, running purely off of stored energy from the sun.

As exciting as it was to finally flip the switch and watch the lights come on, I was reminded of my dilemma while I was in the store shopping for these lights.  I knew that I was going to purchase energy star certified lights, but while I was in there, I was struck by something profound:


I mean, I get that energy efficiency is a relatively new concept (yes, that's sarcasm) but come on, guys! Three times as much??  For just a minute, I considered crumbling and just getting the halogen set.  But then I took a deep breath and bought the CFLs.

This experience reminded me why Caffe Bellezza is committed to sustainability in the first place.  It's not because it's convenient and everyone's doing it because they are not.  It's not because it's affordable because it really isn't.  It's because if we don't commit to better efficient power (and we're talking 75% more efficient in this case), then we never will.  Sounds profound, huh?  Seriously.  If we don't COMMIT to the idea, than we'll continue to buy cheap bulbs and cheap products and fill up our landfills with outdated equipment and we'll never push our scientists and our brilliant young minds of tomorrow to do better.  The prices for efficient products will never go down because we'll always have to stock the shelves with slightly cheaper things "just in case".  

So yes, buying these lights hurt my wallet.  A lot.  But ya know what?  I'm okay with that.  The lights that burn over our little Mobile Coffee Bar will always be a reminder that we are making a stand to be a part of the solution.

What's our slogan?