Jules here. We have finally decided to implement a blog into our website, and while we can't promise consistent updates, we do hope we'll be able to entertain and offer some interesting topics and more transparency for our geeky, geeky selves.
As such, and with our one year birthday approaching, we're starting off with a bit of a more thorough introduction to how Comet Coffee came about -- and we're so glad it did.
Some of you already know this, but co-owners Steph and Mark are both former "coffee clerks" of the Kaldi's Coffee Bar located in the Des Peres Schnucks. You all know what we're talking about -- they're in Richmond Center, Des Peres, Ladue Crossing, Kirkwood, and a handful of others. You may have even seen the one downtown inside Culinaria.
While coffee clerks are partially trained by Kaldi's staff (our hats off to Joe Marrocco, now with Cafe Imports), they are mostly left to develop their palate and passion (or not) with little other encouragement. It is, primarily, the job of each individual coffee bar's manager to promote an interest in specialty coffee and train his or her staff in the more intricate nuances of the job (after having taught himself or herself). Needless (and sad) to say, most coffee clerks are not so interested in diving into the deeper end beyond their job at a grocery store coffee bar.
In that environment and with it still being a grocery store, it is so incredibly hard to flourish as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and skilled coffee professional for mostly understandable reasons. While the bottom line is important with any business, it seems oddly more present in those coffee bars (again, understandably). It's difficult for anybody interested in doing more and becoming more within the specialty coffee industry, and thus, Comet Coffee was born from a love of coffee, a need to learn more, and a desire to create one's own space to do so.
Mark drew from the pool of people he knew, primarily from the coffee bars, to help him in opening this great shop that we have today. Hannah Atkinson was another member of the Des Peres Schnucks coffee bar, who became involved early on in the conception and creation of Comet Coffee. I (Jules) have my own history with multiple Schnucks coffee bars and came onto the project later in the game just a month before opening.
Since then, we have seen other employees come and go, off to other things (some coffee related, some not). Zach Althaus, currently with Goshen Coffee, was an assisting employee in our modest start; Sara Stagg, another former coffee bar employee who was also with Half & Half and is now working on non-coffee things; and our never-forgotten current employees, Kyle (also formerly of Schnucks coffee bars), Dena (formerly of Kaldi's Coffee at the Crescent), and Frank (our newest addition, formerly of St. Louis Bread Company).
It requires all of us to do what we do, but more importantly, it requires that passion and exuberance for coffee that you see when we get all geeky and excited (and sometimes science-y) about a new coffee or brew method or a particularly awesome latte art pour (myself). It is this appetite for and dedication to the specialty coffee industry that brought us together and will propel us forward, and we hope to bring some of you (all of you) along with us for the ride. We wouldn't be here, reaching our one year birthday, without you.
Comet Coffee (Demitasse, LLC) would not have been possible without Mark Attwood, Stephanie Fischer, and the immensely generous help from both of their families. And we obviously would not still be standing here and writing this without the support and business provided by all of our wonderful customers. You folks are awesome.
Over and out...