I set the intention to refresh my coffee skills, immerse myself in the coffee world and reignite my passion. Even though I had some nerves, I booked a trip to Copenhagen to spend a week in the Coffee-Mind Academy. I studied for a higher level of roasting qualification, undertook practical and written exams and passed!! For which I was certified by the Speciality Coffee Association as a Roasting Professional. The learning from the course has given me new skills, loads more knowledge and major new energy for my business.
Time to buy a new roaster...
The other key objective for the trip was to decide on which new roaster to buy. As my business has grown, I need extra capacity to roast more coffee, and I was seeking to upgrade my technology to achieve even better results with my roasts. My original roast machine, Daisy, is getting older. At Coffee-Mind in Copenhagen there are many roast machines to try and I was able to understand the pros and cons of each, relative to my business. By the end of the week I knew which machine was going to be right for the next stage of my coffee journey. When I got home, I placed an order and she arrives tomorrow. I am beyond excited and I can’t wait to show you.
What about Copenhagen as a city?
With so much stuff in my head before the trip about coffee training, I hadn’t had much time to think about where I was going, but, Copenhagen I love you! A beautiful city, super easy to get around, with people who are so genuinely friendly and helpful wherever I went. Fresh, delicious and innovative food and amazing coffee. The city has beautiful sites, with such a calm and peaceful atmosphere. I will definitely be going back!
So 'What’s Next? I hear you cry....
I had set the intention to develop my products and services and I would love to share more about coffee with my customers, face to face. One really important part of which is the sensory aspects, how to really understand, detect and describe tastes and smells in coffee. So, this month I will be undertaking a sensory training programme. So watch this space, as I start to plan products and activities using my new skills...
In the meantime, please keep following my journey. You can do this via Facebook and Instagram - @thegardenroastery. If you enjoy catching up on life at The Garden Roastery, why not tell your friends too..
For now, as always, thank you so much. Lisa x
It’s almost time to go…
On Sunday I fly to Copenhagen to spend a week at the Coffee Mind academy. I’ve always been a person who performs better if I am motivated. Five and a half years ago I trained at London school of Coffee where I passed my course and exams to become a Speciality Coffee Association certified roaster. I’ve just celebrated a big birthday and I’ve been running my small business, The Garden Roastery, for 5 years, so now feels a great time to press the injection pump.
So what’s in it for me? I am going to refresh and learn new skills, review new roasting equipment, network with fellow roasters, fill my brain with coffee geek facts and start the next chapter of my coffee story….. and I can’t wait!
What’s in it for you? Loads of great stuff! If you’re a customer, you will have a roaster who’s at the top of her game, seeking out new and exciting coffees and roasts for you to sample. If you like to keep up to date with life at The Garden Roastery, I’ll have loads more content and interesting stuff for you to access through my social channels and you can take a look at beautiful Copenhagen as I experience it for the first time.
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark with fabulous Scandi style. As well as great coffee, there is beautiful architecture, canals, gardens and fabulous food! I will have some time to explore whilst I am in Denmark, as well as attending my training course and exams, so I’ll keep you posted along the way.
So what happens when I’m back? Well, watch this space. After returning from my course I’ll be planning updates to the Roastery offerings and then we are into festival season with London Coffee Festival kicking off at the end of April.
I can’t wait to take you on my journey.
So here is the year-end report that I wasn’t planning to write for 2022. For me the year has really been a game of two halves. Following my delight at the end of 2021, when I had doubled the sales figures for The Garden Roastery, I felt that I was already delivering a high quality and consistent service. The first half of 2022 started well, building on that joy and really feeling like I was getting somewhere with a significant increase in regular customers and wonderful feedback from customers who have been shopping with me for many years.
“But what about the highs for 2022?” I hear you cry!
Well great news, The Garden Roastery customer base has grown, with orders being dispatched across the UK. Local customer awareness has spread, and I regularly find myself being greeted with ‘oh you’re the coffee lady’ – that always makes me smile. There have been new product launches – the latest being the sell-out Coffee Travel Can and for the first time ever The Garden Roastery coffee and gifts are available for purchase at another local business.
So, what’s next?
Those of you who are fans of The West Wing will recognise the phrase… 'What's next?'
What does 2023 hold for me and The Garden Roastery? Well, it’s onwards and upwards. I have been qualified as a Coffee Roaster since 2017, through the Speciality Coffee Association. But it’s time to refresh and top up. So, this year I am planning to travel to Copenhagen for the next stage of professional roaster training, exams and qualifications. I can’t wait!
I will also need to start looking at new equipment, and I will be using my training trip to scout out the best roasting machines before considering an upgrade to help increase capacity and let Daisy start her well-deserved retirement.
Product development will definitely be on the cards with consideration of a range of subscription packages.
Support and networking – I really want to spend more time networking with and supporting other local businesses. It provides such a boost to meet others in a similar situation and share great ideas. I have a business degree and 30 years experience which I hope can help others.
Last but not least, I want to give more back and support worthy causes where I can. Whilst The Garden Roastery does not have the funds do make large corporate donations, I will absolutely be looking for opportunities to support worthy causes and reduce environmental impact whilst providing the best service possible to my customers.
Keep the faith...
I’m really looking forward to this year. I’ve got a big birthday coming up and that is a big reason to focus on my passion. For all small business owners out there I do believe there is such a thing as a Small Business Imposter Syndrome. I think all small business owners at some point wonder whether they’re actually doing it right and forget how much they have achieved and how far they have come. There have been so many small businesses close with the recent economic challenges. But keep the faith! You do know more than you think, all the effort is worth it. Yes, it’s very very hard but don’t give up. Keep your passion, keep celebrating the journey, support each other along the way and together we will all keep small-business alive.
Thanks so much for all my customers and all those people who have supported the Roastery through 2022. Let’s look forward and have a wonderful 2023. Happy New Year!
Hi Coffee Lovers
Whenever I get to this time of year between Christmas and New Year, I always find myself in a reflective mindset. For me it’s a time to think back on the year past, before launching myself into the New Year with as much gusto as I can muster.
So what of 2019? The headline for me and The Garden Roastery is Wow! This was my first full year since the Roastery was established and I can’t tell you how pleased and happy I am about how things have gone. As many of you will know, I started roasting as a hobby, after training as a specialist coffee roaster a few years ago. Within a few months, the friends, to whom I was giving my surplus roasts, insisted on paying for them and so that was it, The Garden Roastery business was formed.
As I look back on 2019, I have to say that by far my top reflection is all the wonderful people who have supported my business. Along with those closest to me, my family and my wonderful friends, the customers of The Garden Roastery have made my year! I can’t tell you how blown away I have been with the amount of support that both I personally, and the Roastery, have received. From customers who I have met in person, to those who I have met online, I have been blessed with many pieces of positive feedback, support, referrals and recommendations. When you run a small business, with sales on-line, it’s so powerful and empowering to receive that support. So I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported me. From those who choose the Roastery as their coffee supplier, to those who are supporting a local business, to all the social media likes and shares from further afield, as well as the biggest form of feedback by personal recommendations. I couldn’t do it without you.
Those of you who know me will be aware that it’s not as though I have plenty of time on my hands. With a busy business career, that has periods of international travel, a long commute and running The Garden Roastery, there is plenty to do. In amongst all of that I also try to fit in family time and exercise.
However, as always this autumn, I’m in planning mode. So what’s next? Where will my passion take me? One of the things I love about having my own business is the ability to be agile and try new things. When you own the risk, the possibilities are endless! So my latest musings are on new coffees and new products but as always, without the hype.
What many of my customers don’t realise is that I have a day job. I have a busy role in a engineering company, with a fabulous team and daily positive challenges which I love, but roasting and my coffee business are truly my passion. I found a hobby later in life and now it’s taken on a life of its own. From day 1, with a £5 note in an envelope, to a growing client base, both local and further a field. I am truly humbled to have my speciality roast coffee recommended by my customers to their friends, and I regularly receive new enquiries and orders. From one off gift purchases, to over one third of my business from repeat customers, I love what I do. I get so much pleasure from chatting to customers and understanding what type of coffee they like to drink. Importantly I also get to support local people and charities which is close to my heart.
So I’ve taken a bit of time out over the last few weeks, and it’s got me to thinking. I set up the Garden Roastery after I became increasingly interested in speciality coffee, I learnt a lot, and I am still learning. But before all that training and developing my knowledge, what did I know? I knew that I loved coffee, I was fascinated by the hundreds of ways that you could make and drink it, but I didn’t know the difference between a latte and a flat white, the difference between commodity coffee and speciality, and I’d certainly never heard of an aeropress! I guess that is the same for the majority of folks, so I’ve decided over the next few blogs to write about some of those things. I make speciality roast coffee in a micro-roastery, and I want people to not only be able to drink my coffee, but to know how to make it the way they like it #yourcoffeeyourtime, so let’s learn about coffee together...
Hey coffee lovers, add a comment to the blog if you have any questions or interest areas, and I will try to include these in future blogs... e.g. ways to brew your roast coffee, what’s the best grind size to use? when do you press the plunger in your cafetière? how much coffee should you use?....
Lisa - Roaster by Passion