Last week we had one of those epic, life-changing, something kind of out of a dream type of road trips. A few of us left Jackson on a crisp Spring morning and set out to follow the Snake River from Wyoming, through Idaho, Oregon, and all the way to Washington. Part of this trip was to connect with the roots and inspiration behind our brand, another part of it was to stop by and check in on customers and partners along the way and (if truth be told) a big part of it was just to hit the open road. This trip tasted like our Roam Wyoming Blend, which is the perfect coffee for a #homeiswhereyouparkit adventure!
Here are a few realizations we had along the way:
1. Always travel with a coffee grinder!
Despite being heavily armed with every coffee in our collection just in case we had a certain craving on the road, we definitely forgot to pack a coffee grinder. This oversight led us on some out of the way adventures as we hunted for grocery stores in the wilderness that would allow us to grind coffee we had not purchased in their store. Big thanks for the kind folks at Harvest Market in White Salmon, WA who laughed and said sure when we asked to grind our own coffee.
2. Farmers do not get enough credit.
We drove through an endless sea of farmland and watched so many people pouring their sweat into the ground. There is a massive disconnect between those who grow food and those who purchase it. If we actually recognized how much work goes into growing a head of lettuce, we might look at our food and consumption differently. We have a massive amount of respect for anyone committed to growing food. Where would we be without the incredible farmers who grow our beans?
3. Spring is the best time to hit the road.
Our entire trip was a blur of emerald green, wildflowers, rivers, and waterfalls. Is there a better time to see America than when it's blooming in the Spring? We think not.
4. Our customers and partners are amazing.
This business is personal to us. Our partners are restaurants, cafes, hotels, and small businesses. But they are also people. They are families. They are married couples building their dream coffee shop and raising their kids behind the counter while pouring drinks. They are people who had a dream about building their empire and trust us to deliver an incredible product that speaks to what their business is all about. It is important for us to have facetime with our partners, offer support, answer questions, and simply talk story about the direction each of our businesses is headed in.
5. Mama Earth is in need of some TLC.
For every beautiful mountain pass that we drove through or every waterfall we climbed, we were saddened to find rubbish in the middle of an otherwise pristine landscape. Now is as good a time as any to practice mindfulness in all things, especially how we treat the earth that supports us. Our hometown of Jackson, WY has recently passed an ordinance against single-use plastic bags. This effort is helping our community reduce the environmental and resource impacts of paper and plastic carryout bag production, which benefits us all!