Peace, Love, and Coffee

A diary of the wonderful and wacky goings on at Coffee to the People, an independent coffeehouse located at 1206 Masonic Avenue in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California.

Friday, August 26, 2005

How it all began. . . (Part 1)

I never intended to open a coffeeshop. To begin with, I am not the entrepreneurial type. I hate worrying about money. I hate selling things. I never read the business section of the newspaper. I don't even like capitalism. Beyond that, I don't have the time to own a business. As a medical student and the mother of three small boys, the only time I expected to spend in a coffeehouse was while hovered over my books, studying. But my husband, Bob, had different ideas.

Bob has always had a strange entrepreneurial impulse that I can't comprehend. Apparently, being a high-powered litigator at a major law firm doesn't satisfy his need for new challenges. When he started his own online service for attorneys (www.megalaw.com) I thought that might be enough, but after that was up and running he started talking about opening a retail business--first a bar, then a pizza parlor. Fortunately, I nixed the first idea and other family members nixed the second. I told him the only type of retail business I would ever be comfortable with was books or coffee.

For awhile, as our family grew, Bob stopped talking about starting another business and I began to think he had wisely given up this particular dream, but it resurfaced when his sister, Megan, came to live with us during my first year of medical school. At the time, Megan was a recent college graduate having trouble deciding what to do with her life. She had spent some time working in coffeeshops, which she enjoyed, and she and Bob began to discuss the possibility of opening a place together. Eventually they worked out an agreement where he (we) along with other family members would provide the financing and she would provide the management.

For the next year they wholeheartedly threw themselves into the coffee business while I tried to quell my anxieties about the project. Megan went off to Starbucks for a year of intensive barista and coffeeshop management training and Bob began to learn everything there is to know about the world of coffee. Although I still wasn't keen on opening a business, at least it was only a coffeeshop. Besides, I liked the idea of helping Megan get a start in life.

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