Second is Jeff. If you live in Florence, you most likely know him as one of the baristas at Lula's Coffee Company. He and his boss took a small dream they had years ago and turned it into a non-profit coffee shop that has not only impacted people within the Florence area, but also people around the world. Jeff recently quit his job at Lulas, but couldn't stay away from his love for coffee. Last year, he started his own coffee roasting business called Batch Nine Coffee Company, @batchninecoffee, which Lula’s now sells and brews in their shop. He is expanding his brand to other local coffee shops in Florence, as well as others across the states. Jeff really knows how to run a business, but is still learning more and more each day. This is some of what he says he's still learning:
"For all of the glamorous moments from small biz owners that you seen on Instagram, there are an uncountable number of tough moments that go on behind the scenes. Late nights, long days, tough spots, uncertainty, doubts, creative blocks. What I’ve learned most in 2017 and the first month of 2018 is how to embrace these “un-glamorous” things as the ebb and flow of starting/owning a small business.
You have to want to own your own business. And when I say you have to want it, I mean you have to WANT it. Lots of people have ideas for starting businesses and some of them actually get up the stomach to take steps and make it happen. But I understand now why a considerable amount of them tank pretty quickly - it’s because late nights, long days, doubts, tough spots, and creative blocks happen, and if doing what you’re doing isn’t engrained in the core of who you are, you’re not going to respond when it’s crying in the middle of the night.
I have learned that this is what I want to do, that this craft is one I want to perfect. How do I know? Because it hasn’t come without late nights, super long days, doubts, frustrations, and creative blocks, and yet I still keep moving forward.
Sometimes I have several orders to fill and they have to go out in the morning, which means a late night is inevitable. Creativity comes in spurts. Lots of times, I draw a blank on what to do next, how to drive sales, or even what to caption a picture. I’ve had multiple opportunities to throw in the towel, and sometimes it would seem to make sense to do so. I could have, but I just couldn’t, if you get my drift. It’s because deep in my guts, I know this is just the ebb and flow of it all, and I’m willing to grind it out when that’s all I can do. I’ve also learned that in those moments, patience and perseverance are all that works, but its worth it every time to keep moving forward!"