My journey from an accountant to a barista

I have some exciting news to announce: my husband and I are opening a coffee shop!!

It’s been dream of ours for many years. The dream developed roots back in 2006 in Austin, Texas. My husband and I were living downtown on 13th street and this out of the world little coffee shop popped up two blocks away. The coffee shop was named Caffé Medici and they served “real” coffee. High quality coffee and handmade espressos. Caffé Medici’s coffee was an artistic and a culinary experience. It blew our minds and taste buds away.

We weren’t aware that coffee could taste so good. We had previously had spent our coffee years away drinking frappuccinos and sugar laden lattes made with inferior coffee from the big national chain not knowing there were other options. After experiencing Caffé Medici, we dove deep into an intense coffee education. For those of you that don’t know, there’s a whole other coffee world that is as complicated and diverse as wine. We quickly learned that coffee wasn’t just a caffeine injection, it was a culinary treat. We bought a home roaster and played with roasting and grinding our own coffee. We sampled coffee from all over the world and made coffee and espresso in ways we never imagined.

For years, terms like single origin, country and farm origin, tasting notes and micro-roasters filled our dialogue. After we moved from Austin to Mexico, our coffee exposure increased exponentially.

In Mexico, we were located close to good Mexican coffee farms like those in Chiapas. Another thing in Mexico we experienced was the art form of making espresso. As in Italy, most places in Mexico make coffee and espressos the old fashioned way…handmade. They still use espresso machines but the barista plays a big part – they are almost 99% responsible for how the espresso shot comes out. Baristas have to control by hand the water pressure and the quality and amount of the coffee grinds. You might see baristas at the big chains in the United States frothing some milk but what you don’t see behind the scenes is that they usually push one button that automatically grinds the beans and spits out poor quality espresso shots.

When we moved from Mexico to Los Angeles, there were more decadent coffee experiences. The five years we spent in Los Angeles consisted of indulging in local indy coffee shops experiencing new surprises and ingredients like soy, almond milk and green matcha lattes.

When we moved to San Antonio in August, our coffee consumption came to a screeching halt. We live in what is considered one of the most innovative and progressive areas of San Antonio and there wasn’t one single local independent coffee shop in sight. And there were only a few of the famous coffee chains…and even they weren’t located close by either. Two months into living in San Antonio, we decided that the fact that there weren’t any coffee shops must be a sign that we had to finally start our own dream coffee shop. In October we found the perfect retail location. For the next month, we filled out application forms and created a business plan. Luckily both our application and business plan were approved by the landlord and lease contract negotiations started. Negotiating the lease took 3 months!! Everything from what specific items we intended to sale, hours of operation to construction remodeling details had to be outlined and signed off on. This week, we finally received our signed lease contract. Now everything is legal and we can start the next phase of renovating the retail space.

I never imagined when I quit my job last April what a whirlwind of happiness would be bestowed upon me. I was terrified to quit my career in accounting and give it all up for the unknown. Thank goodness I finally took that leap of faith because now I’m able to enjoy all my passions in life. In June, two months after quitting my job, I started Malibu Dog, an online dog supply store.

If you have followed our blog for a while, you know our two Havenese dogs (Oscar & Arnold) are our children. When they were first introduced into our lives, my husband and I had a hard time finding well-made, safe pet products. I started Malibu Dog to offer other pet owners the best products we had found in our own pursuits and make them available for their pets. Malibu Dog is still in its infancy stage but it’s slowly growing and has been quite an education in creating an online business. Quitting my job also allowed me to dive deeper into the blogging and the design world with Carrie, building more on TwoFriendsTwoCities and also starting our new vintage store Lizzie + Luckett.

Like Malibu Dog, Lizzie + Luckett is in it’s infancy form – (it’s actually only a few weeks old!) but we have huge plans for it in 2012. Some things we are planning are expanding our offerings, working with other vendors, making our own online store in addition to our Etsy store and participating in some antique trade shows.

And now on top of all that…I’ll soon have a coffee shop!

The coffee shop isn’t going to be a walk in the park. We have lots of hard work ahead of us. There are complicated city permits, construction work that needs to be managed and planning out all the intricate details like menu, supplies, equipment and labor. But we hope our dream of having an Italian-caliber coffee shop will be success and a labor of love.

We decided on the Revolución Coffee + Juice. Here’s our logo!

As much as we love coffee, we feel selling juice is an important healthy concept and will help expand our product offerings. And we also really love juice. We chose the name Revolución because it signifies a new way of doing things. We are going to have a new concept in coffee offerings and provide healthy eating options. We also chose to spell the word Revolución the Spanish way with a “C’ as a special homage to the incredible time we spent time living in Mexico. The Spanish spelling also fits because many of our coffee, juice and food items will be influenced by things we experienced living in Mexico including using cajeta and condensed milk in some specialty drinks and playing with fruit juice combinations.

I am sure many people might think I’m working too hard and all over the place with my business pursuits. Dog products, Interior Design, Blogging, Coffee + Juice…. But I was always immersed in these subjects before so might as well work in them. They already consume my life, each in their very own ways. Back in my accounting career days, I constantly read business strategy books. I remember an excerpt from one of Donald Trump’s books that stuck with me. Donald was commenting on the fact that he gets lots of criticism from working too hard and he basically stated that he loved what he did so he never thought of it as work. That’s how I feel now. I worked like a dog with my accounting career – long hours and days full of stress. Now, I am working and doing more than I ever did as an accountant but it doesn’t feel like work at all. I am excited and loving all I do.

The coffee shop is not going to take time away from blogging with TwoFriendsTwoCities and I hope you will follow me on my journey with it. Since my husband and I are on a tight budget with the coffee shop and because we love designing things, we are going to be doing most of the interior and construction design ourselves. That means making our own tables, creating art, decorating and painting and a slew of other DIY projects. And food. I have lots of recipes to test and share with you. Scones, granola, juice and smoothie experimenting. I can’t wait to share all these things with you!

Viva La Revolución!