6:30 am -- I began my morning shift with the one and only Kyle Sackhoff (aka my boss/brother from another mother). One person comes in at 6am to prep for the day while the other comes right at the beginning of the store opening up for our lovely customers to arrive.
6:50 am -- Our first customer arrived!!! Usually mornings start off slow because we are up before the rooster crows. Lela is a regular who we see in the mornings. A wonderful, sweet African American lady who loves her lattes.
7:07 am -- Customer number two and three make their way into the store. These two people were none other than another regular, Amber and her son who was getting ready to head to pre-school. While she got her coffee, the little boy desired and devoured one of our delicious chocolate chip cookies.
7:20 am -- A couple of customers strolled in through the door. But they were not just any customers, they were Nathan and Nora. Nathan is one of our super regulars who spends every other transaction at RMC, and Nora is his little daughter who might be one of the cutest kids ever. She always comes in with a sippy cup and a baby doll. Her favorite thing to do when she is inside the shop is play peekaboo through the pastries window since it’s exactly her height. We have turned Nathan into a pour over kind of guy and everyday that’s what he gets.
7:30 - 8:10 am -- Since only a couple of people were strolling in through this time, we decided to take some inventory in order to see what we needed to order for the upcoming weeks. During this time, we also had some more of our lovely regulars come through to grab their morning cup of coffee. Their names were Marlin, Dena, and Zach (aka Zach Attack). Zach Attack has become more than a regular customer to us; he has become a really good friend who we hang out with from time to time. He works at the Rep and is the man to talk to when it comes to tickets for shows, which you all should go support our Central Arkansas theatrics.
8:17 - 8:50 am -- These are the moments we like to call “just a lil’ busy”. Person after person started coming to the shop to grab their lattes or house brews or a nice tea. With busyness, you feel just a little bit more of the weight of getting every order right and helping put out the orders as quickly as possible. Also, there are times when us, baristas, make mistakes or forget to warm up sandwiches and people come up to ask if their sandwich is almost done and then the feeling of dread and shame comes upon the barista who forgot to prepare the sandwich. That barista was me in this instance. But I quickly fixed the problem. During this busy span, Kyle was a workhorse and was pumping out drinks left and right; all of them having lovely latte art as well.
8:50 - 9:30 am -- The crowd died down and we went back to a slower paced rhythm. When it is slower after a busy spell, we spend time doing the dishes and cleaning up any messes that may have occurred.
9:40 - 11:00 am -- College students were getting out of their first class, meetings were happening and people were starting to hang out at the shop. It was a steady stream of customers coming in and a wide demographic of people from young to old, to African American and Latino to Caucasian and Asian. I love seeing how many different kinds of people walk through our doors and feel at home when they do. RMC always reminds me that it is a place for community that stretches beyond social stigmas and boundaries.
The final part of my day was teaching a man about different brew methods, primarily using the Chemex. Coffee education is one of my favorite parts of my job because many people are still beginners when it comes to the science and methods of coffee and how the industry is growing from the Folgers/Starbucks world. I would say Chemex is my favorite brew method and it is exciting to share it with our customers to help them “Take Coffee Everywhere”. And this is just a glimpse into RMC.