Our Logo/Our Brand: Why We Chose "Calavera Coffee"

Monday December 11, 2017

Recently many people have approached me and asked why I chose Calavera Coffee as the name of my coffee company.  For those of you who did not know, Calavera is the Spanish word for "skull" and is the representation of a human skull.  In any case, the origin of the name for this company came from my brother Ryan Morris, who thought "Calavera" would be an excellent name for a coffee company.  Ever since we had discussed this, I stuck with the name and began to really interpret what this name meant to me as time went on and exactly how it influenced my beliefs in what my company represents.  There is no secret that many people think of a skull as morbid, ghoulish and kinda creepy.  However, what the name means to me is on the opposite end of that.  Hollister CA is a community of mainly English speakers, but almost half of our population is a Spanish speaking community.  Breaking down the barriers of language and creating a different specialty coffee culture within my community involves (in my opinion) a draw on different levels, including reaching out to both demographics.

The Word "Calavera"

When I think of the word "Calavera" it represents a physical human skull, but the word itself might be the determinant for a Spanish speaking person to walk into our café more comfortably if that barrier of language is already removed.  Language itself can be a genuine barrier, but doesn't necessarily have to be especially when people of different cultures live alongside one another in such close proximity.  I believe that specialty coffee should be all inclusive, which means anybody should be able to walk into our café, order something that they like, and have a pleasant conversation with somebody behind the counter.  Because we have no specialty coffee here in Hollister, opening a specialty coffee shop is not as easy as opening a café in a community already familiar this type of business.  Opening my café will involve introducing, creating, and stabilizing this new idea of "specialty coffee" with my community.  Half of my community happens to be Spanish speaking.  I feel that by creating a logo understood by everyone in the community it will help everyone feel more connected to our company and what we represent.  Because I have been working in coffee for almost a decade for both Starbucks and Vertigo Coffee I know that many different people enjoy coffee, coming into a café to talk, work, and engage with everyone there.  When a customer walks into a café and gains a feeling of comfort they are more than likely to find something that they like, as long as somebody is there to help them.  Language may be a small barrier, but it requires a willingness to want to help somebody find what they are looking for despite any small miscommunications.  Having a well trained staff who are slightly bilingual, or fully bilingual can easily communicate with our Spanish speaking customers and bring down those barriers of miscommunication.  I want to break down the barriers and create a business model where everyone feels comfortable.  If the quality of our menu and items being served are ALWAYS consistently amazing then the focus on communicating with our customers what we have will only help with grow a stronger and more diverse customer base.     

The "Calavera" Itself

The logo itself and the design was all created by Bryan West and Ana Kahana.  I worked with them on developing a simple, clean and straightforward logo of a skull.  The skull itself is a direct representation of a calavera and what this skull represents to me is this idea of transparency in our company.  We are all about coffee, the products we will sell, and providing a comfortable environment for our customers.  We want to provide people with a nice experience, great coffee, and offer our products as something for people to be excited and proud of.  The skull signifies this "bare-bones" model of a café being built from the ground-up.  Skulls have always been something I have admired, because they are truly in their simplest form.  As I mentioned before many people might see a skull as a grim symbol, but our logo is more synonymous with our transparent business model and desire to be true to our customers and ourselves.  

We have HOLIDAY BOXES in our store right now, so go check those out and get your orders in before the holidays!!!!  Thanks for reading, talk with you all soon!

Evan Morris