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One Man's Journey in the coffee Industry and Life

So there I am, at the crossroads of my career, it was the biggest most aggressive and costly project, I have ever recommended! I didn't care because I just knew I could make this work and show that by doing this we will not only capture the savings of not outsourcing, we would have control and flexibility! Plus we had the opportunity to guarantee quality control and package design! There was just one little problem or actually a few. Number one, convince my boss who is making a boatload of money in his early sixties to commit the capital outlay it would take to do this efficiently and successfully, and we needed it to be completely isolated and separate from our main production floor, because the issues of contamination were very real and potentially catastrophic! The other thing was, I wanted to upgrade the packaging, I didn't want it to look like a "foodservice" product I wanted it to more resemble a CPG, or a retail pack. I figured this would do 2 things, Our customers would immediately identify it as a more valuable item and maybe we could take this opportunity to get back into the retail business, you know supermarkets and wholesaler, distributor's and brokerage houses. I really wanted to also brand it differently, in other words create a new name! So, I researched all of this stuff for a few months, sourced and identified all the equipment, negotiated the purchasing price, brought in engineer's on the donut, to give me estimates on the implementation. I solved how to isolate the line, for once our crazy building was our friend, we would simply cut a hole in the cement floor and put the line on the third floor! Our production was on the 4th floor, genius, instant gravity feed!!! Yeah. I tested every flavor profile from several flavor companies, and negotiated all the costs to us, and got the exact formula for each flavor, because each one was different based on the flavor. For instance, chocolate is a lot more of a predominant flavor than say vanilla, or hazelnut. It was a lot of work to say the least! Also I learned that to flavor the coffee and prevent contamination even within this line you had to do the coffee in a certain order in other words, start with the mildest flavors and end with the most powerful profiles, for instance start with hazelnut and end with chocolate raspberry. Oh it was pretty complicated alright. This work was all done, offline, I mean after hours, because after all I was running the day to day stuff too. But I was jazzed up, even though I could do all this work and present it and get shot down in 20 minutes. Although I will say, I got my owner's blessing kind of. When I approached him about the idea he said, "OK, you do all the work on this, come up with every thing we need, what it is going to cost, my return on investment, projections on volume and how it will positively impact sales, make sure it works, develop a training program for the sales force and it better be feasible and fiscally beneficial", not a resounding GO FOR IT, but hey, take a shot! Oh and also, as long as it doesn't take one minute away from your day to day responsibilities. What a deal right! I didn't care, I knew I could make this work for us. I was just worried it would all be in vane! Hey at least in the worst case a learned a lot. But still it was stressful.

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