Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Of Garages and Crossroads

Our first batch of coffee was roasted in January 2005. I often joke that a child never fully moves out of their parents’ house. This fact will forever be written in stone for me. One week before our first coffee roaster was delivered, our lease fell apart. In true form, I now had a new business without a home. So, I did what I always did…I called my Dad! One week later, an eighteen wheeler stopped in front of my childhood home where my brother-in-law and I lifted a 1,000 lb crate with a pallet jack and wheeled it down the driveway to the garage. Two hours and 10 propane fittings later, we had fire!   

The last six years have been incredible. What was started as a passion and hobby has become an actual business! Blanchard’s Coffee Co. did end up moving from my father’s garage, but we are still a family business. I am grateful to have employees who are friends, believe in Blanchard’s and love coffee as much as I do. You really can’t teach passion; you either have it or you don’t.

Today marks a big day for the Richmond coffee world. Six years ago when I was roasting in the garage, I decided to go on my first sales call and I picked Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream. I would like to say that my relentless pursuit sealed the deal, but it didn’t. Today is not about pursuit, it is about coffee and passion. Today is about two Richmond coffee companies realizing that the sum of their two businesses creates something greater than what they are apart. Passion is an interesting energy, isn’t it? Passion needs fuel and unfortunately doesn't generate its own inertia. It needs ideas, creatively, affirmation, and support. Passion needs continual reinvention. Blanchard’s and Crossroads: coffee passion.

Contributed by David Blanchard

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