Two weeks ago I traveled to Seattle for this years SCAA Convention, which was a major milestone for me. It was my 25th consecutive SCAA Show and perhaps the most well attended in history.
A Little Bit Of History
Indeed in looking back my first SCAA was in Oakland, California at the Claremont Hotel—it was attended by maybe 120 people or so. I remember it was marked by a protest in front of the hotel calling for a ban on “Death Squad Coffee” (El Salvador) and made Bay Area news reports later that night. After the show was over on Saturday the entire group (well almost entire) bellied up to the hotel bar to socialize. During this time I met some of the great legends of the San Francisco coffee scene. These relationships I still hold close to me to this day; I learned so much from these old coffee people.
Although the SCAA is now huge, and there are many people interested in the Barista Championship and other attractions, I am very happy that the SCAA Conference still harbors not only coffee related stuff but also communication and education. With these tools future people will take the torch and improve on this rapidly expanding market, that is specialty coffee.
It’s All About Relationships
As one of my early mentors in green coffee once told me, “Andrew, it’s all about relationships.” At over 70 years old my friend still trades in the hundreds of thousands of bags each year. Indeed with all our technological advances, it still comes down to knowing, understanding and being a friend to your customer. With that in mind, here’s to another 25!
Yours In Coffee,
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