With the holidays here and 2016 coming to a close, we have been reflecting again on what a wonderful year is has been. This year has been as busy as ever for us, and 2017 looks to be the same, if not more so. Thank you from all of us for sticking with us, coming to our shops, visiting us online, and just supporting us. We couldn’t do it without you.
January began with one of the best gifts we could have imagined. After the “Coffee: The World in Your Cup & St. Louis in Your Cup” exhibit closed in January, the Missouri History Museum gifted us the incredible coffee mural that was the showstopper of the exhibit. It now proudly hangs in our Roastery in the coffee talk room. Later in January, Tony, Frank, and Tyler from Kaldi’s; Cat Neville and the crew from Feast TV, and Emilio from Cuatro M traveled to El Salvador to film an episode for TV. As much fun as the trip was, little did we know Feast would go on to win an Emmy for it (!).
February began with a competition. The SCAA Qualifying event took place in Kansas City. Matt competed in the Brewer’s Cup, and David and Andrew competed in the Barista Competition. We are so proud of the three of them for representing us so well. Matt and Andrew did well enough to qualify for the national competition in April. February also saw us traveling again. Tyler was asked to go to Myanmar to visit coffee farms, cup coffees, and set up some relationships to ensure Myanmar can export coffee for year’s to come. Myanmar holds a special place in our heart, so this was an incredible opportunity with which to be involved. Finally, in February, we gave a facelift to our Main St. store in Kansas City. Next time you’re in Kansas City, check it out.
In March, we went on yet another trip, this time to Honduras. Bud, Caitlin, and Brandon visited Honduras. Bud is a traveling veteran, but this was a first time visit for Caitlin and Brandon. March also saw the return of the True/False film festival in Columbia, MO. One of our favorite events of the year, the documentary film festival invites thousands of people into the city to watch movies, attend panels, and, of course, drink our coffee. Finally, this month we started our partnership with STLFC, the St. Louis soccer team. We’re excited to be a part of soccer in STL for years to come. We also had a fun night out as a team watching one of the games!
Like February, April began with a competition too. Matt, Andrew, and a supporting staff travelled to Atlanta for the SCAA event and United States Brewer’s Competition and Barista Competition. Once again, Matt and Andrew stepped up for Kaldi’s. We can’t wait for next year’s competitions. We also debuted a couple new Indonesian coffees in April, Java Srikandi Sunda, and Timor Leste Ermera.
In May, we were on hand for the opening of the Kansas City Street Car. To commemorate the event, we hosted a Latte Art Throwdown at our Main St. store. We even got a visit from Mayor Sly James. The Streetcar passes right in front of two of our locations, Main St, and our Regional Training and Community Coffee Center. Also in May, we were a part of the 5th annual STL Caffeine Crawl. Our Kayak’s location brewed our Java and Timor coffees as cold brew, so attendees could compare the similarities and differences of the two.
For the second year in a row in June, we hosted Donut Day with our partners Strange Donuts at our Roastery. The event was once again a huge success, with all proceeds going to a good cause, Strange Cares. Later in June, we remodeled our Crescent location. If you haven’t stopped by to see it yet, it’s worth the trip.
In July, we were fortunate enough to win awards from three different magazines in their best of lists. We were named best coffee or best coffee roaster in St. Louis Magazine, Sauce Magazine, and Feast Magazine. #blessed Firepot Nomadic Teas also debuted their delicious iced tea line in July. You can grab any of their teas at our cafes, or brew it at home by shopping online.
We spent a lot of time in Atlanta in August. We opened two new locations on Emory University’s campus, one in the School of Medicine, and the other in The Depot, a historic train station on the campus. You can read more about both of those here. We also did some more traveling in August. Steve and Louis went to Colombia to visit our partners and friends in Monserrate. We should be getting those coffees in January, so stay tuned.
September was another busy event month. In one weekend, we were a part of Loufest and the MS150. Two very different events, but two of our favorites of the year. We even got to serve coffee to LCD Soundsystem backstage at Loufest. Chris might still be riding the high. A week later, we were part of Pedal the Cause, another bike based event where we are the proud coffee sponsor. Tyler was traveling once again in September. This time going to Brazil, a new country for his passport. We ended the month with one last charity event, cooking and brewing at a Food Roof Dinner.
In October, we celebrated 22 years since Demun opened. What a humbling realization. We also debuted cold brew and nitro coffee on tap, which we now have at our Demun and Kayak’s locations. We’ll be rolling it out at the rest of our stores too. We ended the month with a Halloween Latte Art Competition at our Columbia location. After months of waiting, we were finally able to introduce our coffee from Myanmar in October.
In November, we were a part of another Caffeine Crawl, this time in Kansas City. The attendees tasted our Costa Rica Black Honey coffee and Firepot’s First Flush Darjeeling Tea. We also introduced a new Panama Lerida Geisha. From the same estate as our other Panamanian coffee, the Geisha is a little extra special. We teamed up with Firecracker Press on the packaging. Speaking of Firecracker, we partnered with them on our Tis the Season roast for the 4th year now. It was part of our Holiday rollout that also saw coffee socks and poofball hats.
Finally, in December, we brewed coffee at our last big event of the year, TEDx. We also have gotten a chance to finally reflect on this busy year and look forward to 2017. We were lucky enough to collaborate with some amazing other companies this year, including Schlafly, Ferguson Brewing Co, Urban Chestnut Brewing, Companion, Still 630, Strange Donuts, and Bissinger’s Chocolate. We feel very honored to be surrounded by such awesome community partners.
Our big plans for next year are opening 2 new stores in STL in the first few months, Gerhart and MCC. We also have plans to open a few new stores in STL with details coming soon. We’re looking forward to remodeling our Kirkwood and Columbia stores, introducing Cold Brew on tap at all of our locations, and opening a standalone store in Nashville, TN for Firepot Nomadic Teas.
Thanks again for everything this year.
Cheers to a great 2017, and as always: #followthegoat.