by Sarah Dooley
October 15, 2013
We are part of teams throughout life, whether we are cheering for them, playing on them, members of them, working on them, or a particular fan base, heck even owning a specific product puts you on a team. Depending on the reach of that group, we are on a local team, a regional team and even internationally linked, like the Barista Guild of America, as one of many examples. A recent conversation with my hubby returning from an American football game, (to preface, Mark is a 17 year season ticket holder to the Seahawks and a diehard member of the 12th man cheer squad) I ask “Did we win” to which he replies in a strained vocal tone, “Yes, good game too”. We are part of the teams in so many capacities. Where am I going? When I first visited Baratza my immediate feeling was, there is a true spirit of team work here.
Not just team and not just work because we have all participated in those words to some extent, but TEAM-WORK. To quote the wise words of Pat Riley, “Each member of the team is expected to understand that no one player is bigger than the team.” Every time I reference “what I have found” there really is no way for me to fully explain what I do, without my team. Let’s be completely honest and start from the beginning, thanks to Kyle Anderon and Kyra Kennedy, (Inventor & Founders of Baratza), Joyce Klassen (Marketing Manager) who you all know as @BaratzaTalk (twitter) and a dozen detail oriented folks from manufacturing, to our facility in Washington, including the folks I’d like to introduce you to in this post. It is because of all of them, I can stand in front of a shelf of grinders, thoughtfully crush some beans, add water in various ways and make a few tasty solutions.
My second blog post is an introduction to #teamBaratza. Diane Wood, Colin Francois, Pierce Jens and Quinn Anderson are all part of day to day operations.
Diane is our soft spoken, smart, organized, and very detail oriented Operations Manager. With elegance and finesse, Diane keeps the team focused on getting orders out the door. She prioritizes taking care of customers and solving problems in the supply chain from start to finish. She’s a coordinating machine and while camera shy I would describe her style as a modern day Jackie Onassis sporting stylish red framed glasses.
Calls begin as early as 8:01…
Colin, with little to no coffee in his system, takes the first call. “Someone is not having coffee this morning”, and he gets right to the calls to alleviate the brewless issue. “My grinder turns on but beans don’t come through” or “my grinder is making a funny noise”. Using his understanding of Baratza grinders along with empathy and patience, Colin listens to the anxious and coffee-deprived caller. He can quickly figure out the problem, determine a good solution, and create another caffeinated and therefore satisfied customer! When the morning emergencies are dissolved he brews a Chemex for the office and himself.
Pierce, also no stranger to guiding the everyday brewer through a burr change, a clogged grinder shoot, or “fixin’ a whoopied mojangler”. Oh yeah, a little humor is great way to totally relate with our customer and how they might feel! Pierce has a wealth of knowledge about Baratza grinders but always speaks the language of the individual caller. From literal rocket scientists to first time grinder owners, he’s great at putting thoughts into words, solving grinder issues over email daily. Pierce enjoys the clarity and brew process of the Siphon pot…I’m positive it’s a “man makes fire” thing as well.
Quinn, with his entrepreneurial mind, endless amounts of energy, extensive product knowledge (he has refurbed Baratza grinders for five years) works to make Baratza grinders better. He listens, tests, and redesigns in order to build a better grinder both on the production line and the consumers counter. After spending a year as the Baratza Product Liaison at our Taiwan production factory, he is now back in Bellevue as the Forté Product Expert and doing special projects. Quinn is a straight espresso kind of guy several times throughout the day.
There’s also a playful, jovial, family feel within the Baratza team. When we are not busy taking care of customers, testing burrs, or brewing coffee, we can be found working out, marathon training, and cooking together. The office culture is one of hard work, serious development and a lot of fun.
The sun rises, orders get processed, calls get answered, products get tested, projects move forward. If there are problems, we do our very best to solve them fast, the sun sets and we do it all again the next day. Serving well for the Baratza team is ensuring that our customers can grind fresh coffee (whether that is getting an order out the door, fixing a problem grinder, or helping a customer brew a better cup). It’s been a great first few months and I am definitely looking forward to the future with #TeamBaratza.