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Happy New Year - A Note from Nick

My mom & dad were Y2K worriers. I don’t throw that out as a judgment--we’ve got some gear and stuff put by for the apocalypse at the Walton house. My parents had Y2K. We’ve got a nameless civilization-ender. An earthquake, or a North Korean Nuke or something.

That New Year’s celebration years ago sticks out poignantly in my mind each time we roll the calendar. I remember right where I was at 11:59:59, December 31st, 1999. I remember the the room--heck, I remember the chair I was sitting on. I was having a good time, but I remember there being a small voice or presence in my mind thinking that this could be the end and beginning of something. That maybe we faced a semi-dystopian future.

When life rolled along merrily at 12:00:01. January 1st, 2000 there was a palpable sense of relief, and maybe a sense that we’d been collectively worked up over something silly. The world hadn’t ended as we knew it.

But I suppose it could have.

This is, I think for a lot of people a reflective time of year. For me it’s a good time to remember that time moves so quickly. Yesterday my 9 year old daughter was born, and tomorrow she’ll graduate. Sunrise, sunset.

This is a blogpost for my company, Flag & Wire Coffee. And maybe you think these last paragraphs have been a little ethereal--bordering on the sappy there at the end. But the truth is that as a business owner I have the same sorts of feelings.

My three kids have been bringing me new challenges and new unthinkable joys in rapid fire all their lives. They’re so frustrating and so much fun at the same time.

Isn’t it the same with Flag & Wire? Every day is a new challenge, a new hassle, a new issue to deal with. Every day something breaks, leaks, disconnects unintentionally, or falls apart. But every day we gain new customers, we discover new, interesting qualities in a coffee. We make deals with amazing people growing coffee all over the world. Every day we have the chance to view our company, (life) through the lens of challenge or opportunity.

I just can’t wait for this year! I mean, I don’t have to, because I’m writing this on January 1, 2017. The future is now.

I have so many things I’d love to do this year as a company. I think it’s healthy to set goals slightly further up & further in than you can reach easily. Those are my words for the year. My mantra. Further up. Further in.

I’d LOVE to be working on a second location this year. I know--I said that last year. But the time has to be just right. We’ll see. We’ll see.

The Alpine street improvement project is slated to get started this spring. That’ll be exciting to see happen! We’re going to do some cool stuff during & after that project, so stay tuned.

I’m so excited about our staffing! Every year brings adjustments and challenges from a staffing perspective. When we first opened, I hired Matthew as a sort of fill-in extra employee. I really liked him, but I didn’t expect him to become my right-hand-man--which he has. Nora, Lazarus, Vincent and Barbara keep surprising me with great ideas and attitudes. We said goodbye to some folks this year, which is always sad & hard But when you make the choice to surround yourself and build your company full of quality people you have to be ready to see them pursue excellent new things. I’m looking at you, Allison.

2017 is going to be a good year for the quality of our coffee, so you can look forward to that. We’re increasingly working with farmers, importers and exporters that facilitate transparency and storytelling in meaningful ways. We’re learning better all the time how our coffee is produced and who’s producing it. We’re making great strides in the area of standards & practices--we want to know better how coffee works, how we can best showcase the hard work that farmers, pickers, sorters, millers & transporters have all done before the coffee reaches our roasting room. And we want to understand the things we can do as roasters & baristas to make that coffee shine.

It’s a joy to be in this business. It’s a joy to get to make these plans. It’s a joy to work together and a joy to interact with our customers. 2017 will be marked by Joy.


Our wonderful team, going into 2017. Lazarus, Matthew, Vincent, Nick, Kim, Barbara, and Nora.