I was intending to write about the year that’s passed and the good things to come in 2018 - and I will get to that at some point.
But something moved so much yesterday that I am forced to share my thoughts about why I approach my business the way I do.
I will tell you this - it’s not a business to me. People are not a business. People are people and, to me, how we treat one another is more important than anything in our lives, in my humble opinion. Doesn’t matter where you come from, what rung of society you grew up in, what social class you occupy, what job you have, what language you speak, because at the end of the day we all feel like we’d like to be treated a little better. Life is cold and harsh for many, living paycheck to pay check if they are lucky enough to have a job in the first place. My mother, who inspired this company, would wake up every morning at 5am, get dressed, make breakfast, walk to the the train station even in the bitter New Jersey winter cold, take the train into Philadelphia, walk from the train station to Jefferson Hospital where she answered phones all day, every day.
She did this until her health broke down.
I have never met a tougher, more dedicated person in my life male or female. On top of that, a heart of gold, Give you the shirt off her back if you were in need.
But do not cross her or disrespect her. Lol. Oh, the stories are legendary.
We all have crap days. I had one yesterday. No explanation for it. Just happens. Everyone has crap days.
What I can’t stand is when people take on more of their fair share of crap days. When they can’t seem to get a break.
When it seems like it can’t or won’t get better. We all work hard, we raise our kids, we try and give them what we didn’t have growing up (or in some cases what we did have ). It’s all about hard work, love, sharing, support and making it better.
Which brings me to Kelsey.
Kelsey is a young woman who lives in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and is a member of the US Military proudly serving her country. I called Kelsey (not knowing I was calling Cuba or that she was military) because of a delay in her order and I wanted to reach out like I reached out to so many.
Kelsey was so kind, as you all have been, and when she told me where she was and that she was military I realized what a truly special thing having a service company really was. This brave, proud, strong woman, willing to lay down her life for her country was jumping up and down because I called her. No. Other way around. I jump up and down for you.
Then Kelsey made a video, in uniform, about how happy she was to get the call. It was a GIF, and I watched it a thousand times and read what she wrote.
Great day for me. I was serving this extraordinary person who was willing to sacrifice everything to protect her fellow citizens. She was showing gratitude to me. Blew my mind. It’s you, Kelsey, who deserves the gratitude and the respect.
That’s my mom. That’s what she was all about. She solved people’s problems and she protected them. She did it with a smile and with love - and a lot of great food followed always by - yup - coffee.
That’s my company. It’s about sharing and making your day better, however I can do that. It’s about service, serving you.
YOU are my company. It’s people.
Among the most important lessons she taught me was to take responsibility for my actions in whatever I do.
I am applying that lesson to my company and I will never waiver from that responsibility to you, my customers.
Another lesson I learned growing up in the Northeast was that the customer is always right, one hundred percent of the time, and no matter how trivial an issue is to an outside observer, to me, if it has to do with my customers, then it’s a very big deal to me and my only job is to make that customer satisfied, happy and whole.
I am so pleased that so many of you are writing me to say how much you love the coffee. I worked so long and hard to make this a reality and it’s a great feeling overall.
Hard work is it’s own reward, for sure, but the real reward for me is knowing that I am serving so many hard working people quality coffee at a good price. I want you to feel valued and taken care of when you drink my coffee, and I want you to feel valued, appreciated and taken care of when you reach out to our customer service department.
I wake up every morning with the goal of improving your experience with my company because I want it to be the best in the world in every category.
That starts with one very basic principle - treating people right.
I thank you all for building this company with me as we move forward into 2018.
Here we go!