A few weeks back there were two people that showed up to the pop-up (rest in peace) through our front doors. It's always awkward when that happens because they get this feeling of “Oh was I supposed to come in a different way” but we are like “No no you’re fine, that way is perfect,” but they are never convinced, thus their first interaction with us is always a little awkward. So this time I offered them coffee to break the tension. The guy ordered a cold brew with milk and some simple syrup and the girl declined for the moment. We started talking and and I noticed the guy had this awesome tattoo on his forearm of California with the I.E. whited out. We started talking about that and how he was from San Bernardino and was proud of it enough to have it tattooed it on his arm. He said people would ask from time to time about it and most never knew San Bernardino existed until the tragic shooting had occurred last year. We joked about the I.E. a bit and I have seriously contemplated the same tattoo for myself since then.
Later the girl pulled out her camera and started taking some pics. It’s always funny when that happens cause you don’t really know their motives but it’s always fun to ask. Then she dropped the bomb. “I’m from Sprudge.” SHUT UP!!! I didn’t say that, but I was pretty pumped. We’ve wanted an opportunity like this for a while. A chance to share with the coffee community on a larger platform our mission and WHY weeven opened a coffee company in Riverside. She asked her questions and I answered as best as I could. I felt like Will from Newsroom, talking about civilizing the world and things like that. She snapped some shots, then asked for a latte and I realized my art isn’t quite where Shane’s is so I attempted a simple heart. Made the pour and passed her a large lopsided latte. They stayed a bit longer. We chatted more about the tattoo and then they were off. I texted Shane immediately letting him know this was by far the worst day for him to not be here, and there was a piece of me that wanted to rub it in that fact that he missed the experience.
I shared with Ashley, my wife, when I got home and was so excited till I thought something that has made me worried ever since. What if they get us wrong? What if Sprudge, the biggest coffee blog that I am aware of, misses the point of who were are. Will we be branded as who they say we are? And then I started thinking bigger picture. What do people think about us? What do they think is our purpose in doing this? I ask everyone we interview for team members here why they think we are doing this. Who are we? What is Arcade about? And they usually give some answer about quality coffee and we are genuine people, which are some of our values here, but no one knows why. Why does Arcade exist? This has been one of the best things I’ve worked through over the past few years. Searching for our identity and purpose in an overcrowded industry. Yes we are coffee nerds/professionals and take the science of coffee seriously, and we are artisans that care deeply about the craft of coffee and how it is prepared specifically and purposefully for an individual. We are trainers who help people learn how to brew coffee on their own and how to taste it and appreciate it for how wonderful it can be. But these are expressions of a deeper purpose of Arcade. These are just what’s and how's to our why. So I am going to blog once per week to control the narrative of Arcade, so people will always have a place to turn to if the purpose gets fuzzy or if there's a question to our character. Arcade exists to enrich lives by inspiring others to create shared moments, relationship and a sense of belonging for all. This is our purpose in the marketplace. To give people a place where they will stop and connect to create genuine relationship with each other and because of that everyone will feel like they belong. And we feel there is no better medium for that than connecting over a cup of real coffee. We hope that you will join our cause as we continue to serve and connect with our community.
P.S. I still hope Sprudge writes the article about us. That would be awesome!