MANE Conference: Bite-sized Take-aways

I’ve been working on a few different posts coming out of the MANE Coffee Conference, and there are a few bite-sized take-aways that don’t really warrant a post of their own, but still have left me thinking. Here they are.

– “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” – I have this written in a corner of my notes, and I can’t remember who said it or in what context – but it is something I’ve come back to repeatedly. It rings true – remember Danny Meyer’s 51%ers? We can (and have!) trained folks to become excellent coffee people, but we cannot train people to be nice, to be genuinely interested in other humans. Rosettas and tulips I can teach, but temperament and attitude are not something I can adjust. Given that I’m interviewing this week, it’s something I’m keeping in mind.
– During the Meet the Producers panel, Adolfo spoke at length about Cup of Excellence, which is an organization I need to learn more about. He mentioned the cost of submitting to CoE, as well as the risk that a producer takes in pursuing that competition. It seemed to me that the most sustainable utility of CoE (again, I need to learn more about the competition and organization) was to help create relationships between progressive growers and progressive buyers. In a huge marketplace, the CoE can be seen as a matchmaking service. Is this totally off-base?
– La Colombe in NYC: A number of folks spoke highly of one of the La Colombe locations in Manhattan – apparently they have a great use of space, with a focus on flow and customers service – using space to enhance a service environment is something I’ve been wrestling with, so for the first time, La Colombe is on my to-visit list the next time I’m in NYC.

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