25 Dec 2019 What difference can a cup of coffee make?
by Caleb MacPherson, Co-owner, Narrative Coffee
Note: This is part of a series of columns written by members of the Second Muse cohort working in partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation in Collaboratory. SecondMuse is a company that helps support and nurture “homegrown” entrepreneurs. These are people from our community that are working hard to establish or grow businesses here in our neighborhoods. They have identified needs in our marketplace and are standing up companies to meet them, while strengthening our community. SecondMuse and the Foundation believe that people are the core of our economy and that is an important step in Southwest Florida philanthropy, to help people establish businesses here, to create jobs here and keep the talent and enterprise here.
Growing up in Ottawa, Canada I was exposed to an incredible arts and culture scene, a place where people would come together around music, art exhibits, an issue, a topic, or just have a conversation. It was active and buzzing and the energy was always palpable.
Since moving to Southwest Florida in 2013, I wanted to create such a culture within our community – something to inspire people can gather, to share stories and connect. It didn’t take long for me to see what role my wife, Megan, and I could play to contribute to the growth of Southwest Florida.
Narrative Coffee Roasters was born out of a desire to cultivate a community culture through specialty coffee, one cup at a time. While we are expert coffee roasters, we are really connectors. We wanted to take a commodity (coffee) and make it a delicacy. We hand curate every cup and leave room for the stories. The story of the farmer behind the cup of coffee as well as your stories. Coffee is communal.
The average age of a coffee farmer is mid-40s, so sustainability is important and education about coffee is key. Our $4 lattes will become $8 over time – we want people to start understanding and appreciating how the coffee is harvested and then prepared for our enjoyment.
We have observed that when you participate in an activity here, go to a restaurant or a place you enjoy or even to where you worship, we all tend to be similar, but in a coffee shop you can find all kinds of diversity, all drawn to one common love of coffee.
We have made it our mission to create space for our community to share its stories through our welcoming environments, our unparalleled service, and our quality coffee. We believe, as entrepreneurs, that we are helping to inspire the local arts and culture movement within Southwest Florida. And we stand with other entrepreneurs in their respective fields who are doing the same. Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the local economy. In other words, we firmly believe our community financially depends on local entrepreneurs for satisfaction, for quality of life, and for enjoyment.
Prior to working with SecondMuse, we had been a wholesale coffee roaster that supplied high end specialty coffee to businesses around the region. We also have a coffee cart offering Nitro cold brew and a variety of hot coffee selections. Through the help of SecondMuse, we’ve been able to create a culture blueprint for our company that has helped us to lay the groundwork with which we can build a retail model as we expand. They helped ask the right questions and offer excellent resources to help us create and finalize everything in our plan. Furthermore, they fostered a high functioning level of organization for what can often be disjointed and chaotic for entrepreneurs, and they’re helped us see a greater level of connectedness between different businesses. Of most value, however, they introduced us to people in the community who are like minded and want to see similar goals accomplished here too.
With the help of SecondMuse leading us to procure our employee handbook, we are now even more confident about opening our very first brick and mortar location in the Mercato Shops in Naples. We are ecstatic about launching early 2020. We also have other plans to reach out to areas that may not have the traffic and culture like Mercato. We want to bring coffee and conversation to the people, all people. We can’t wait to have you come and enjoy the spaces that we’re curating for you. Come in for a cup of coffee and stay for the community.
About SecondMuse and its Partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
SecondMuse is an international company that collaborates with visionary governments, corporations, foundations and startups to build 21st-century economies. At the core of our economies are people, communities and networks. From Brooklyn to Bali, our programs span geographies, sectors and size of business. We tackle essential challenges in manufacturing, energy, capital, education, mental health, data, civic engagement, food, blockchain, disaster risk and more around the world. Located in Collaboratory and in partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, SecondMuse launched in February 2019 and is currently working with its first cohort of local entrepreneurs.