I chose to interview my boss Gina Alexander for this assignment. She owns Zanders Coffee in Coarsegold and has established a very respected business in our small town. I have worked there since I was a junior in high school and seen the business adapt over time. Gina is very open and honest about business strategies and involves us in much of the managing aspects of the coffee shop.
1. What qualities do you possess?
The first word that comes to mind is patient. It is very difficult waiting to see your dream come to fruition. I am naturally a fairly patient person and this was amplified when waiting for the coffee shop to get started: patience with myself, my husband, suppliers, landlords, you name it. Along with patience came determination. If you want to accomplish a goal or task, you must be willing to work for it at all costs.
2. How did you start?
Early on in our marriage, my husband and I participated in many craft and design fairs and expos. We were originally selling just metal sculptures and eventually we came across different people at these shows selling or promoting coffee products. My husband and I immediately were always intrigued by the coffee business and at around this same time the local coffee shop in our town was put up for sale. We knew could make something really great out of it!
3. How did you fail?
We fail and make mistakes constantly. That’s just life. Think about the times when I’m forgotten to write down one little detail on an order for our supplies and the rest of the week somehow seems to pay for that little mistake. Communication errors are typically the source of failures here.
4. Any advice for CBO's?
Don’t be afraid to mess up along the way. Your goal is to provide hope and opportunities for others, so don’t lose sight of that.