It’s full steam ahead. That’s coffee talk. ☕️😉 But really, things are moving forward toward a 1st of July opening date. 🤞
It’s raining today in Palas. A miserably wet, windy walk for Pilgrims walking past the gate. If I was open we would have made a mint.
We parked Bessie so they can see her from about 10 meters before they get to the gate. At the very least, the open serving window. The number of people who came inside to look at the food truck and see if we were open on this blustery day, tells me that my plan for sin gluten grilled cheese sandwiches and hot soup would have been a big hit today. I will need a cold weather special and a warm weather special. For sure.
We went on a supply run yesterday armed with my list. I am determined to go as green as possible, and to that end found these glasses to reinforce our message. We won’t be serving anything in plastic. No plastic single use water bottles or soda. Yes, it will cost me business but I don’t care. As a global community, we need to stop kicking this can down the road. In the immortal words of Dumbledore – We must do what is right, not what is easy. I’m having the water tested to offer free water bottle refills to pilgrims from our well. Clean water should be a human right. We will have a sign out front – even for people who don’t purchase anything.
And speaking of signage. I had the idea to brand her a little differently. It’s an industrial looking food truck. So I want to lean in a bit to that aesthetic. Jeff bought a new CNC machine to make some custom stencils and etched signage that I designed. The outside will look really cool. It really does help to have someone in the house that can do this stuff for me. Refrigerator magnets on the Camino are all the rage. Easy, light weight momentos for Pilgrims to carry. Jeff is designing his own set of bespoke magnets you won’t be able to find anywhere else on the Camino with his new toy. He’s all about the upsell.
And today, after what should have been the easiest task on my list to accomplish in Spain, I found a coffee supplier. It’s a head scratcher, I know. Over many months, I even went to the large offices of Coffee suppliers in Lugo and Santiago. No one would talk to me. At Candelas in Lugo the receptionist actually said to me, while I was standing right in front of her – You have sent us many messages. We will call you tomorrow – which was four weeks ago. I guess I’m slow on the uptake. Rejection amnesia. No one wanted my business. But then, I found Coffee Spirit. It’s in a secret location with a small sign and no door. We met today and I had a coffee tasting. And a lesson from a certified, award-winning coffee master on everything related to coffee. His first question was ‘De donde eres?’ Where are you from? When I said ‘Seattle’ a smile spread across his face. ‘So. You know coffee.’ A statement, not a question. All of this was in español. I will pat myself on the back. No translation apps in sight for the entire hour I was there. (Psst…my cell phone battery was dead) Flying without a net. But I did so well. I surprised myself on how much español I know now. Learning Spanish has been mostly about listening. Trying to understand. Now, my confidence is growing and my ego has taken a backseat. Eschewing perfection in my need to communicate so I can get this business open.
I learned about fruit and flavor. The importance of grind, the pack, and heat. And, of course, the kind of coffee. When I left I was on cloud nine. Or gallons of caffeine. Who can know? My yellow or blue (whichever I can get first, both are happy colors) Sanremo espresso machine is ordered (please let it come from Italy within 15 days 🙏) and the lovey people at Coffee Sprirt will spend two hours with me when it arrives getting me up to speed. And they will provide all my coffee supplies, as well. I would say that I can sleep better now, but I’m hopped up on caffeine. Soooo…😳
Diego and crew are coming out to hook it all up so I will be ready to go on opening day. He finally got the Concello to admit there is a form we should fill out for approval of my food truck. ‘But they said 90% of people never do it.’ So it seems I can operate the business while I await the approval that no one else requests, because the ayuntamiento told me, and my gestor, and the contractor for months that I didn’t need it. Bureaucratic gymnastics. But, we are in the home stretch. In just a few weeks I can finally and with much fanfare, utter the words ‘Buenos Dias. Welcome to Happiness. How can I help?’