Moms, Babies and Endorphins...Oh My!

We first met Rebekah Joy Coates of Indian Harbour, FL at the Satellite Beach Farmers Market earlier this summer while we were vending with our coffee van, The Black Pearl. Bekah, as the mom of two goes by, was just bursting with joy (which is all too perfect considering her personality and middle name) as she came bouncing up to our serving window with her oh so precious baby girl, Clare, on her hip. As first impressions go, we noticed a few things about Bekah immediately…her smile was infectious, her energy was bright, and let’s be honest…Bekah was incredibly fit.

The former physical education teacher was recruiting us to join her and her club Fit4Mom Space Coast in celebrating their one year anniversary on August 24th, 2018. Fit4Mom is the Nation’s leading pre and postnatal mother support group that emphasizes friendship and fitness to overcome the challenges of motherhood. Bekah is the owner of the Space Coast branch and as we quickly learned, has spread her magic with many families here in Brevard County. In just one short year of existence under Bekah’s leadership, the club has grown to sizeable number of mothers.

One thing that has been of upmost importance to Noah and I here at Salty Bean Coffee Co. is to use our business as a platform to create positive change in the local and global community. It’s beautiful really...the act of people supporting people; the ripple effect created when one person has a dream…

Bekah was glowing, her smile ear to ear, as she shared with us her vision for the celebration… “Families, food, fun, and a free workout! It’s going to be awesome and I know it would be a huge hit for the moms if Salty Bean Coffee was there!” She was full of stoke, there was no way we wouldn’t be there for her.

The morning of the event was all good vibes, how could it not though? We were cruising our van, our dream, to Wickham Park to celebrate an awesome of group of awesome moms with adorable babies! What I did not realize was how big the celebration would be. I was quickly overwhelmed from the cuteness…little baby toes and fingers, baby sneakers, proud moms…there were so many and smiles were everywhere! Not to mention, our great friend Sean with Lucky’s Market was setting up his tent right next to us. We frequent many of the same events as Lucky’s such as the Green Gable House, Keepin’ it Loyal to Local, and local races to name a few. Our office for the day was looking pretty perfect.

Watching Bekah take charge was the next best thing to witness. The moms marched off in a procession of strollers and wheels. Confidently rolling their little people over the grassy terrain to tackle the next phase of the workout. It was truly epic. I couldn’t help but smile at Bekah’s capacity to bring humor and fun to every exercise. I watched her instruct the moms to do variations of squats, lunges and other strength building exercises in front of their babies who on the flip side appeared incredibly content with the situation. The babies watched their moms wide eyed, some mimicking the hand and feet movements of their own personal super hero. Bekah was leading the moms through difference chants of songs and nursery rhymes. She had many tricks to keep the atmosphere silly yet productive…a winning recipe in life if you ask me.

The endorphins were strong.

I walked with the group to the next location in the park where they would roll out yoga mats for a cool down routine. I was visually inspired by the raw moments and bond between the moms and babies and was having too much fun trying to capture those moments for our YouTube daily vlog. I got to chatting with a Erin, a mom of six month old identical twin girls Tilly and Naome, and who has been a member of the group for four months now. She gushed telling me about the many things she loves about this group and said the comradery between the moms was her favorite part. She appreciated the fact that she didn’t have to feel alone or isolated as a new mom because the club gave her a sense of community. “It’s one big happy family and I’m not just saying that” she told me as she covered her heart with her hands while grinning at her little ones.

We want to thank Rebekah for what she is doing in the community to help build strong, resilient mother’s and families and we want to thank the moms who came by for coffee during and after the workout. It was so great getting to know you and your minis! And Bekah was right…y’all can drink some coffee! We appreciate you very much!

We encourage any mothers in the Space Coast area to reach out to Bekah at rebekahcoates@fit4mom.com if you are interested in joining the group and would like to know more or you can visit her website www.spacecoastfit4mom.com to see other locations and times that the group meets. The first is week is FREE and the group welcomes all new moms with their arms wide open! If you are out of area look online to see where the closest Fit4Mom club is to you and happy motherhood!

Peace, love, coffee and moms!

<3 Paige

 

 

A Salty Bean Sunday

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Today was one of those take care of business-for the business type of days. We all need time in our lives to do that "life stuff" like grocery shopping, laundry, maybe even pull out the vacuum. On occasion we will book a Sunday for a special event like a race or farmers market. Currently we deliver coffee every weekday morning with two additional double days where we attend local markets after the morning buzz route. Saturday's you can pretty much always guarantee an event will be happening somewhere within county limits and beyond. Which leaves Sunday Funday as a "get yourself postured for the busy week ahead-or BUST" day. There is truly never ever a dull moment when you own a coffee van. 

Last night our great friends Kaitlin and Ed Donner put a hard press on for us to join them and some friends at Long Doggers in Satellite Beach. We had just had our best day of coffee sales in Salty Bean history at the Maverick CrossFit Freedom Games, it would only seem expected to go out and celebrate with friends...

When Noah and I cooked up the idea of Salty Bean Coffee Co. we envisioned ourselves frequenting National Parks where we could train on beautiful and diverse trails, then maybe pop the van window open, sell a few cups and exchange stories with other Earth lovers and afford gas to the next destination. The van would serve as an avenue to support a healthy diet and feed my hunger for distance running and exploring my limitations. I dream to either represent USA in trail running on the global level or qualify for the Olympic Trials in Marathon. I still don't know what I'm best suited for but I'm stoked to go for it and give my best. 

We found out quite quickly how naive we were...

The two of us both hold masters in education with no experience in sales or business whatsoever. After getting through the fun stuff, picking the business name, designing the logo and website, securing the URL, developing our signature blend, branding the beans, designing the merchandise...we then had to get to the nitty gritty. How do we actually afford more than just gas and organic food? How do support ourselves with $2, $3, & $4 cups of joe? There is wayyyy more money and thought involved in operating a successful business than we ever imagined. There are legal fees, taxes, purchasing the product, insurance for the van and business, health inspection fees, department of agriculture fees, gas, and the big one...van problems. Yes there will be problems and lots of them.

Then there's the clean the van phase after every day of work...We visit our commissary, we have water tanks to fill, product to stock, coffee pots to clean and prep for the next morning. Then there the shipping of orders if they have come in at USPS. Which is never just a trip down the street, Because we do love our job and our "Salty Squad" as we have named all y'all, we prepare every order with love. We handwrite a personal message to you on a card picturing amazing art from my legally blind big sister Hollie. Hollie is just a beautiful soul inside and out so we are trying to promote her artwork which is sure to make you smile. During and after all of that is social media, responding to comments (This is my favorite! I still can't believe we are so new and receiving so much love thank you all so much!) and you of course have to sign in to your emails and tidy that thing up and follow through with contacts for future events.

Then there's the bookkeeping side. I'll say it again...the bookkeeping side. Like nails to a chalkboard. This part is HUGE and so critical, we were so clueless at first and honestly terrible with the books it was like learning a new language or procrastinating that semester paper until the night before. We still could be more advanced with it then we are but trust me when I say we are lightyears better than where we were. 

And somewhere in all that is the run phase...goals aren't reached without work. I used to pride myself on being a no-excuses type of athlete but this is an all time high for workload and sometimes it just doesn't happen because we are that booked up. I'm learning to cope. The business is the priority and without it operating the dream won't exist to it's full potential. 

However, the run did happen (yay) and it was perfect to sneak to Wickham Park with Noah for a few miles at sunset. The air was fresh and trails were calm, and my foot is still feeling good!!! 

This whole journey feels like training for a marathon if you want to think of it that way. And you're a sumo wrestler or something completely different by nature. You won't just bolt out the door day one for a ten miler expecting a perfect pace at a comfortable threshold. But if you make reasonable and attainable short terms goals, you will be better prepared when the race comes.

Owning a business is a lot of work. We have more respect than ever for other business owners like the many we have partnered with since starting Salty Bean Coffee Co.  We are sleeping less than we ever have, and definitely socializing with friends outside of business less than ever. Although we did in fact make it out last night with the Donner's, they are amazing and both business owner-triathlete stars so we really look up to them. It was the first time since Easter that we took a break with friends. There is literally always something to do when you have a business, something more you can do to be better. But isn't that to succeed at any passion or job? Nothing worth attaining was achieved without hard work and sacrifice. We are freakin STOKED for this JOURNEY and holding onto every moment! Even the Sundays when "funday" is the less than the fun stuff. Truth is attitude is everything, I make our bed every morning even if we are running late or tired. It takes like two seconds and always makes me feel clear minded and ready for the day. There is serious truth behind the Admiral William McRaven  quote, "If you want to change the world, start by making your bed". Although I think I'll add, "and drink Salty Bean Coffee :) 

We still believe once the Black Pearl is sailing strong we can get her on the course she set out to experience. Traveling, trail running, racing, surfing, writing music, visiting scattered family and inspiring people to chase their dreams and passions is the overall vision. We are both big believers in the plan however, and always trust what the path has ahead is where the best lesson awaits. For now, that lesson lies in the long days of coffee and busy schedules. We are learning how to truly operate a coffee shop out of a cargo van, which is providing us with the best base to grow from. It's all ripe soil, and it's lending to the greater destination. 

Live the Dream. Salty Bean.

Paige 

Maverick Crossfit Freedom Games

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This morning's Freedom Games at Maverick CrossFit was one of the best days in Salty Bean Coffee Co. history, and for multiple reasons...

The main idea to celebrate was the magic and inner workings of people and passion.  The magic of today was first sparked when we met West Melbourne Maverick CrossFit owner Jeff Crawford in the window of our coffee van at the Satellite Beach Fireman Olympics just two months ago. We instantly connected with Jeff and admired his pure stoke for the world of crossfit and specifically his facility and community. He was eager to show it off to us and include us in anyway possible. He also happened to truly enjoy our organic coffee and felt the members of his gym would feel the same way. The seed was immediately planted for what would later be an unforgettable day. 

This morning Noah and I drove down Wickham Road toward the event with no expectations as neither of us have ever been to a crossfit gym let alone a crossfit competition. We had no doubt however that we would have a great time because of our quick fondness for Jeff and his awesome wife Julia whom is also a crossfit coach and ranked top 20 in the USA for olympic weight lifting. They are the type of couple you meet and think to yourself wow, this is an example of the overly hashtagged phrase "goals." We all know people who are "goals" to us. We had already heard great things about their gym through casual conversations via the small window of the Black Pearl. This is another example of the magic beneath the surface in day to day life, something we get to witness daily now that we operate a coffee shop out of an old van.

We have the privilege to bring our beans and share the stoke with all types of people in different places. We also have built a small following here in Brevard County and it always brings a smile to our faces when someone from what we call the "Salty Squad" finds us from a social media post at some obscure location to enjoy some coffee and real talk.  For example, just today we met a very kind couple from the Tampa area who had been as they called "stalking" us online and had been trying to track us down because they heard about our unique coffee company. So now you have a couple from out of area visiting and learning about an amazing local gym, all because of coffee, our coffee! It's so freakin' awesome and is exactly why we got into this business...coffee has this special capacity to build a sense of community. I witnessed this concept back in my hometown of Keene, NH where craft coffee shops like Prime Roast and Brewbakers hosted a home base and social network for local culture and family. I credit these places in providing a dependable "happy place" I could retreat to for peace of mind or creative inspiration for my writing. To achieve this from a converted 1995 Ford Econoline is beyond epic, in my opinion. 

Through the randomness and adventure of our business model, we can bring people of different backgrounds together. I would not have enough fingers or toes to count the numerous occasions our coffee has led to a new friendship amongst unfamiliar neighbors here in Brevard County. People are learning about things happening in their backyards through our coffee business that they previously would not have known about.  

You could easily pass by Maverick CrossFit off Ellis Road, not realizing the magnitude of what's going on behind the humble walls of the large warehouse structure. Jeff had reached out to us the night before the event, letting us know how stoked his people were for us to join them for their competition. He was right. As soon as we popped our serving window open, a line had formed. New faces quickly greeted us, and they were all so excited to support our dream. Shirts and hats were being bought, some found a handmade mug that called to them, others a Salty Bean piece of jewelry. We try to have something for everyone to join the dream, even if you don't favor coffee. Although, Maverick CrossFit happened to be very ready and stoked for our product. 

The morning of competition unravelled with the coffee vibes at an all time high. One thing we learned is that CrossFit athletes are jazzed for coffee! Some participants came back to our window two or three times throughout the event! Everyone was smiling, everyone was stoked, and everyone was genuinely happy to talk to us and encourage our business, just as they encouraged each other in the competition. 

Every new day we live through with Salty Bean Coffee Co. here in Brevard County seems to leave us speechless. Today was not only the best day for sales we have experienced so far in the short history of our business, but also one of the best days in terms of the dream. A dream by people, for people. 

Thank you Jeff and Maverick CrossFit for an amazing morning and more to come!

Live the Dream. Salty Bean!

Paige and Noah

 

Throwback: The Salty Running Social (October 2017)

Have you ever had a crazy awesome idea just come to you randomly? Maybe it’s late at night with a few friends, a casual conversation escalates and now you all have this killer plan to start a yoga/surfing/music retreat! Or maybe it’s in the middle of your run…one moment you’re admiring how the morning sun filters through the tree canopy and all of the sudden you have an in idea for the next best app available on all devices. It’s genius! Your only dilemma is that you know nothing about building apps, coding, or really anything at all related to the subject. What you do have though is the vision…the possibility, the what if. What if that late night convo wasn’t just for kicks and giggles? What if you just went for it?

I can recall the exact moment we first thought of owning a mobile coffee business. We were living in Oceanside, California. Noah was working as a 4th grade teacher at Tri-City Christian School, and I was the assistant cross country and track coach to the legendary Steve Scott at California State University, San Marcos. My team was a dream, and I loved driving to “work.” We both had fantastic salaried jobs and Masters Degrees that helped get us there (and student loans to prove it!) My training was going better than ever too. We had an ocean view apartment one street away from the beach, and we surfed most evenings with a front row seat to unreal sunsets. Sunsets are amazing anywhere, but picture this...peacefully you sit, straddling your surf board. Water laps over your knees and you look down at your legs dangling in the grand abyss. Your shadow rolls over the waves reflecting the pastel skies and beams of light skip around the sea. Heaven is just a splash away.

Not a day passed where I didn’t feel complete gratitude stepping out my front door to rows of palm trees and sunshine. I remember thinking…wow…I’m 26 and I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I was getting out the door daily to run, building my resume, and obtaining degrees and certificates.  I had landed an incredible job in the coolest place possible, and all the while was falling in love in Laguna Beach. How could life get any better?

We had just come in from a surf session, and we were discussing holiday plans, balancing both families on separate sides of the country, flights, car rentals, and making time for friends too. Noah then pointed out how epic it would be to have jobs that allowed us to travel. This way our only time off wouldn’t be spent trying to squeeze in time with family. It didn’t feel right calling life “perfect” and only seeing loved ones a few times a year…if we were lucky. “Imagine having a food truck? I’ve always dreamt of driving around and selling smoothies or something?” I had suggested. We bantered back and forth a bit about ideas. “Smoothies could get messy” Noah pointed out. Then it came to us…coffee!  

At first it was just something super fun to talk about.  Then we did more research to see if anyone actually does this…and low and behold we discover Carabiner Coffee Company. They are this awesome business based out of Colorado that was started by this dude who drives around in his old VW van selling coffee in the most amazing places.  We looked at his instagram account admiring hundreds of photos displaying his happy face and overall stoke…literally doing exactly what we had dreamed of. It was so reassuing to discover that somebody acutally does this. It was all we needed.

We started playing around with logos and names. We even bought our own beans and practiced roasting in a cast iron pan. We thought of roasting in our van, but decided against it after learning of the many regulations we would need to adhere to. We watched hundreds of youtube videos from coffee farmers to coffee shop owners and van lifers in general. We talked about it a lot with our families and friends. At the time I think they thought we were crazy…

Yet here we are now…

Doing our first event last Sunday was absolutely wild. We had been moving so fast, it didn’t quite sink in until we were driving to Ted’s Shoe and Sport in downtown Keene that morning. We were sleep deprived and tanked up on good vibes. We had a blast meeting runners and people walking by, curious about the big ol’ black van and sign reading “Free Organic Coffee.” Beautiful things happen when people come together.

Moving to Keene and launching our business was a very purposeful decision. We wanted to gain the hometown support that Keene does so well before hitting the road. Keene has a very large running community, so reaching out to them first was the best starting point. My college teammate, Thomas Paquette, owns Next Level Running Company and is a huge advocate for our sport and is especially passionate about including and coaching people from all walks of life and ability. We first thought up the idea of our two businesses teaming up for this event on a chilly run through Goose Pond. He brought it up, and I was obviously game. We would call it the “Salty Running Social.” Ted, owner of Ted’s Shoe and Sport, was gracious enough to host the event in his parking lot. All my runners out there….we all know coffee can help us go the extra mile!

Our plan is to connect with runners and races all over the country, which will allow me to train in diverse places and push myself. My goal is to represent my business and go as a far as I can, so that’s what I plan to do.

If you have a wild idea or something you are incredibly passionate about, find a way to make it your life.

Thank you Keene for the love and support. I am so proud to call this place my home.

Peace, love, running and coffee!

<3 Paige