As another year comes to a close, a brand new one starts to edge its way hopefully into view. With January right around the corner, this seems like a good time to stop for a second, look back and evaluate 2017 from a Mighty Good Coffee perspective.
It’s been another year of change, a year of growth both commercial and personal, and at its core a year of brewing coffee and serving it to the good people of Ann Arbor. Every year, we strive to do better, to raise the bar for ourselves and our staff, to ask what we can do to improve our level of service.
Of course the most significant action of 2017 was the purchasing of the wonderful Jefferson Market, allowing us to expand our food offerings and reach a whole new community in the old west side. This has been a truly joyous experience for all of us, meeting new people and reuniting with old friends while serving them all delicious brunch. It has had its challenges, as every new venture does, but it has all been worth it. We’re excited to see what 2018 will bring.
From a coffee perspective, it’s been a year of new and varied offerings arriving outside our back door. The Guatemala Finca Los Caballitos was popular, its brightness and mellow body making it a staff favorite over the last few months. Our Black Label range continued, with two offerings from Ethiopia—the washed Shakisso and natural Chelelektu—proving particularly successful. We’re already searching for the next round of Black Label coffees, which we hope will encourage even more participation in our Coffee With Benefits manual brew loyalty program.
Speaking of which, in November we launched Coffee With Benefits with the aim of exposing more people to our manual brew menu, and engaging them with different brew methods and coffee options. In 2018, we’re going to be offering more events and classes, which our Coffee With Benefits members will have exclusive or priority access to. As just one example, we’re planning a roastery tour for the end of January, as well as many similar happenings in the months to come.
Every year, we endeavor to visit origin as often as we can. In February of 2017 we visited the La Minita farm in Costa Rica, and just this month we sent a delegation to Colombia to meet farmers and source our offerings for the coming year. Visiting origin is essential to our company, as it allows us to forge new relationships, rekindle old friendships and locate the best coffee possible to bring back to our customers.
Mighty Good also takes part in numerous events throughout the coffee world. In January, we attended the second annual Sensory Summit on the campus of UC Davis in California, a symposium which seeks to explore and discuss the scientific side of coffee. The Roasters Guild Retreat in August was an opportunity for education and networking in the coffee roasting community, involving classes and collaborative tastings among some of the country’s top roasters.
We take pride in our engagement and collaboration with the wider coffee community, at events and on origin trips as well as more local gatherings such as latte art throwdowns and fundraisers. These events allow us to connect to the wider world of coffee, hone our skills and knowledge and make new and important connections to help us grow and improve as a business.
In addition to our ongoing community engagement, this year David was elected to the Executive Council of the Roasters Guild, serving as Vice Chair of the Membership Committee. As part of this, he is focused on outreach, expansion, and diversification of the Roasters Guild membership.
It’s been a long year. Our goals for the next one are to take a breath, recoup and go again. We aim to be even better—roast better, brew better, and serve you better. We are endlessly appreciative of all our customers, every drink, every day, and we hope to welcome you into one of our locations in the new year.