Actual photo of me giving a tour to Dave
For anyone that has ever moved, it seems like a great idea before you start. Then... chaos.
We probably raised a few eyebrows when we made the decision to move during the economic slowdown caused by the bat plague. I had hoped to do at least one or two more updates on the site rather than just rely on Facebook updates but.... COVID. (I'm going to use that as a default excuse for a while!) Like I said, seemed like a great idea at the time.
When we made the decision to move to the new warehouse, our landlord asked us if we could be out of the old space by May. I did what anyone who is a glutton for punishment would do and I said, "No problem!" And then a laundry list of activities flooded by brain, and I was off to make dozens of phone calls.
Mike Tyson - Military Philosopher
Dear Lord, what have we done??
For the first week of the move, everything seemed to be going fine. We made appointments with contractors. We started cleaning the new location, removing dust and painting floors and walls. I made an obligatory pilgrimage to Lowe's. We moved non-essential equipment to the new location (ya know... put it in quarantine... nevermind....), and got to do a bit of a spring cleaning of things that we didn't need anymore.
Then the fun began. Contractors don't show. Contractor's estimates are too high. Work gets done, but well, there's just one more thing that we have to fix. Where did this piece of equipment go? Where are my tools? How much did you say the plumbing bill is going to be?!?
The excitement of moving quickly gave way to long days, and short weeks. We also started getting back into some markets, so while we were quite thrilled to see our customers again (and meet new ones) we had to make sure we had everything we needed so that we could run the markets like normal. Or normal for COVID.
Sometimes, you have to learn to enjoy yourself like puppies playing in a river.
By Memorial Day, Liza and I realized that we had been working non-stop for 21 days, and we let ourselves have a day to recharge. Of course, I don't find Memorial Day very relaxing, but that is a post for another day.
So partway trough the move, I find myself picking daisy petals... Got an appointment with another plumber. "We're going to make it." I see the estimate. "We're not going to make it." Schedule internet installation." We're going to make it." County taxes come due. "Another bill? We're not going to make it." The electrician shows up. "We're going to make it!" Funny enough, this is all pretty normal for a move.
The biggest decision we had to make though was how much coffee to roast and when to begin moving Christine, the Big Red Roaster (I wound up moving Christine by myself with a pallet jack because it just had to get done). It seems simple until we try to forecast our normal coffee order demand, overlaid with markets reopening, added to restrictions being lifted. Thankfully, we've only missed one day of production this week due to a gap in our phone and internet coverage. And we'll only miss one day next week (Monday) because we'll be finishing the warehouse preparation for the health inspection.
The new Ricks Roasters in various states of readiness. Ethan is in one picture for a sense of scale.
Some great lessons - "A failure to plan is a plan to fail."
Say you are crazy enough to fight Iron Mike Tyson. Are you just going to strut off of the street and into the ring? No. You'll study, train, and study some more. You and your coaches will develop combos, techniques, counter-techniques, and have a game plan.
The bell will ring, and then reality will punch you in the mouth. Was the plan useless? No. Because you focused your attention on taking down the Champ, and you still did everything else to prepare to fight.
For us, we had a plan. We had to adjust the plan to fit reality. We had to discard many assumptions and figure out new ones.
The value of having a good plan is that you are forced to think about the problem and the goal. The "plan" is just one way to get there. There may be other ways that become apparent when events are in motion.
Through our frustrations, and temporary set backs, we've have one goal in mind. Move the roastery by the end of May, and be ready to roast by the first week of June. We tackled that goal the same way that we would try to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.
Whatever else has gone wrong, right, or sideways, we've managed to accomplish our May mission, and support our overall mission of bringing you great coffee.
As is normally the case with business, this month has been incredibly humbling. We've had an enormous amount of support, and our team here at Ricks Roasters has been amazing with the mountainous task laid before them. Most importantly, we've had so many of you that have been extremely supportive (and patient) through this move. Thank you. We are thrilled, blessed and humbled to continue to grow the company and continue the Ricks Roasters tradition of bringing you superb coffee. We can't wait until we can give you all the tour!