Monday December 4, 2017

This past weekend I participated in the Cold Moon Pop-up Art Show at Vertigo Coffee Roasters.  My co-worker Erin put the event on and did an amazing job of setting it up, getting artists out there to participate, and involving the community in raffles for prizes.  We had a very busy event that night and were able to draw a large crowd due in part to the Christmas parade that night in San Juan Bautista. I shared a half-table with my good buddy Victor, a local artist who is the epitome of true devotion to art.  I really enjoy working with Victor, because he is not only a true professional in what he does, but he takes what he does very seriously in the most light-hearted and humble way.  Victor is a dedicated perfectionist in the best sense of the word and it shows in his intricate designs and compelling artwork.  The whole day was very busy and we saw a lot of familiar faces and many people that I did not know.  I served complimentary Vertigo drip coffee (our newest coffee- Burundi).  At first people walked by curiously, but as the night went on people became more and more interested in what we had, not only because I had free coffee but because Victor was wearing his illuminated "concession stand" uniform displaying his merchandise.  When we finally got the chance to engage with people, they became very interested in the idea of a future café in Hollister and what was in store for the near future.  They were visually engaged in all of Victor's amazing pins, prints, and works of art.  Needless to say we were the perfect pair for the event and I can't wait to do this again soon.

As I talked with many of these different people I began thinking about how important community is and why we as a small community here in Hollister can only benefit from supporting one another.  With my goal of wanting to provide a service to my community and give people the opportunity to have another option for coffee in our downtown area, I also want people to know the person behind the action.  I feel that if people get the sense of what a person is truly all about it will give them more of an incentive to want to support that business.  In the specialty coffee community, although spread out across many towns and states, business owners want to give their customers a sense of who they are through their business models.  Part of that involves having to put yourself out there and interact with your community to get a sense of who they are.

The importance of working with others and showcasing these local talents is stimulating and very influential to that said person and everyone else around them.  For example, at Vertigo Coffee we shut our kitchen down for the night and had the opportunity to allow Lucas Morris-Lopez (a local chef) to put together a menu that left everybody in awe.  He used local ingredients from the farms in our area and cooked everything to absolute perfection.  He prepared Pork Belly with smoked pineapple/onions, mushroom tostadas with heirloom beans/ brown butter & sage, and a nice sunchoke soup with chorizo & coriander yogurt.  Sounds pretty damn good, right?  We were more than excited to showcase what Lucas can do, because we were confident in his capabilities.  Watching him work motivated me and everyone who was working that night, because we saw his passion and the support of his team.  All of this came together, because of community, confidence in one another, and creating a frenzy to get people excited about Lucas and his food. 

Seeing all of the artists at the event reassured me that no matter where you are, there are talented people all around you and it is important to surround yourself with positive people who want to see each other succeed.  Part of the reason why specialty coffee has become such an important industry for me is because in this community you are surrounded by people who want to watch the industry grow and want the people in this industry to flourish.  This sense of growth and prosperity in our industry is what we want to build upon. By working with other industries, incorporating them in what we do, and finding those companies or individuals who align with our vision our community only grows and thrives. 

I have a lot of merchandise left in the store and the mugs will be available online this week! Please check out the rest of site and the story on Cat & Cloud and Vertigo Coffee.  

To see more from Victor his instagram is packed full of incredible artwork!

Instagram: @hermitvictor @baristaev @calaveracoffee @vertigocoffeeroasters