The Creation of a Brand: Cherry Seed part 1.
In Toluca Lake, California there is a beautiful and bright coffee house right down the street from Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bro. The walls are colorful with an array of flowers resembling an English garden. Fresh coffee beans fill containers in the back by an old Pacman machine that is always in use by regulars. Smiling faces greet you at the bar and outside the many windows are a tree lined Riverside Drive providing shade for the customers on sidewalk tables. These images and the many memories of the times I spent there will never be forgotten. My first experience of coffee culture and the countless emotions that come with it first started in that shop. Amongst friends, family and endless cups of cafe oles, Earl Grey, and the tastiest lattes made by my favorite barista. It was just the beginning of a passion and love towards an industry that has been heavily involved in every aspect of my life. This started the journey to an unexpected career in the specialty coffee industry.
Shortly after my move back to Kentucky, the idea of opening a coffee shop was a common topic of conversation at home. I loved seeing how the coffee industry in this city was growing. I wanted to be apart of that movement, bringing the emotions, tastes and experiences from California to Kentucky. I thought at first that was in the form of a coffee house. But then I began learning about how that seed makes it from a coffee shrub into my cup. The thing about coffee is it takes hundreds and thousands of individuals to dedicate themselves to quality work before you can get that shot of single origin espresso, or a blend of South American and Indonesian coffees. And like I was learning in my personal life at the time, to create something with purpose and value takes a team of individuals. Parents opening their home so you can save for those future plans, a mother who watches your child so you can work long days and all the friends and relatives with their constant love, support and wisdom.
This got me reading more about coffee roasting, and after a summer of working with a local roaster I bought my own machine. During this time my mother and I brainstormed names, doodled logos and researched all the complicated legal aspects of starting a coffee roasting company. So with the immense help from my parents and tips from other local roasters and coffee professionals Cherry Seed Coffee Roastery became official. Shortly after through the Lexington Farmers Market I met Luke and Nicole and because of their passion, dedication and like minded mission Cherry Seed Coffee House sprouted up. Now with a team of baristas, a partnership with a phenomenal importing company and customers who bring smiles and joy to our shop daily, we are seeing dreams come true. It's just a start and there is so much more we hope to offer and create but there is growth and a flower is budding.
From a corner side cafe in Toluca Lake to a room full of green coffee beans in Lexington. It has been about cultivating relationships and exploration through the coffee cherry seed.
~ Lacey Nguyen
(training day at US Roaster Corp, Opening day of the Coffee House with hubs, Coffee "research" with my mama, and LOTs of muffins for the little one who came to every market day in 2016)