How a Simple Question Helped Launch A Coffee Company

For me, it all started with a simple question, “where do apples come from?”  This was the question I asked my daughter one day while working in our home garden.  Her innocent response, “Daddy, apples come from the market?”  Houston we have a problem!

 

Sofia was four at the time and I was a busy financial auditor trekking day in and day out to different client sights doing what I considered at the time “glorified double checking.”  I knew Sofia’s response was typical of a four year old suburbanite, but what struck me at a deeper level was that she was growing up without an appreciation for the environment and where our food actually comes from.

I took this moment to reflect on my life and the values I was instilling in my children (I have two by the way :) ).  Did I want them growing up in a mechanistic world thinking that all consumable goods originate in large retail outlets?  Or did I want them growing up to have a deep appreciation for values based systems predicated upon diverse people and cultures, complex systems, and multifaceted processes?  The latter, of course, was, and is, my preferred desire!


So why Just Pour?  How could a coffee subscription business tie into teaching my children about values based systems, diversity, and culture?  Well…

 At the time of conceiving Just Pour, I had strong convictions that if I were able to create my own business and become the master of my own professional destiny I would be able to design something that not only benefited society as a whole, but also provided the basis to teach my children a foundational value set (hard work, pride of ownership, care for others and the environment, etc.), while concurrently showing them the nature of our place within a complex world.

 Just pour isn’t merely about making the single serve coffee experience comfortable and convenient for our customers.  It isn’t just about doing our part to make incremental positive changes within the environment.  It’s about an idea that’s larger than ourselves.

 

Yes, we are selling coffee subscriptions and competing with the likes of Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Keurig, etc., but we’re more than just another business selling coffee.  We have a greater purpose in our objectives.  We lead through our core values:  emphasize, embrace, and enable.

We seek to emphasize quality and simplicity in our practices.  Of course we want an efficient business system, but more importantly we want to ensure that quality is a top priority as we market ourselves and build trust with our stakeholders. 

We embrace change.  We know that the world we live in is extremely complex and ever changing.  Our philosophy is to flow and mold ourselves with the changing times and use new experiences and circumstances to our advantage as a way to add value to all that engage with us.

Finally, and most importantly, we seek to enable.  Specifically, self-actualization.  It may seem hyperbolic to put such a lofty philosophical value when building and managing a coffee company, but it’s an important part of who we are.  We consider everyone, we meet, partner with, and interact with an integral part of our team, and we truly want them to be the best they can be.  It doesn’t matter to us whether these people are vendors, investors, customers, employees, friends, or family.  If in any way they become part of the Just Pour family we want our product, systems, and values to permeate to their inner core so that they can be the best people they can be.

We believe so strongly in this value because we think that when people are activated, engaged, thoughtful, and doing what they love, those thoughts, feelings, emotions, and energy transcend the entire systems in which they operate in.  As an example, we think that if people are excited to work for Just Pour, they’ll be energized to spread our value set within their own personal community; building happiness among their friend and family and promoting equity and environmental stewardship across the nodes in their network.

 

I do know that I’m being hyperbolic, but that’s because I already see the change we seek in my own family life.  Just Pour has enabled me to slow down and think about what I value most.  And by embedding the Just Pour values into my personal life, it has helped me to become a more attentive father and husband.

I now find myself deeply reflecting on the questions my children pose, and I work to provide them with deeper insights into the way the world and its systems function.  But, more importantly, by living the values I espouse as a leader in Just Pour, I can see positive changes and growth not only within myself, but also among the core network of people I care for so deeply. 

So to bring this back full circle, why Just Pour?  Because we’re a “Just” company.  One that is values driven and engages people to become the best they can be for the good of society as a whole.  I often chuckle when I think about how a tiny coffee crop can energize a group of stakeholders to think deeply about complex issues and bring about positive change both now and into the distant future.

Oh and by the way…Sofia definitely knows where apples come from!  You can find her on the weekends talking about the life cycle of apples while she helps nurture the small coffee plant we keep in our greenhouse. ~ Jason



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