Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roasterie Newsletter

Dear Roasterie Friends and Customers

Here's to a beautiful Spring and we hope that you are all making the best of it. No shortage of water here in the Midwest this year!

We've been busy...extremely so. I told a friend the other day that they're working me harder than when we started the company. We just have the perfect storm of a lot of projects, which you'll see here in a minute.

The kids remain a daily source of awe, inspiration, joy and happiness. Saying goodbye each morning remains the most difficult thing that I do each day. God knows that I love coffee...more each day...but it pales to the love I have for them; it's hard to describe to folks that don't have children. But it's the best part of my life and I didn't think life could ever get any better. Terry is 3 years old and has been at St. Peter's this year. Sophia will be 1 year old on July 3 and is "army crawling", screaming (mostly always happy) and jabbering like nuts. We spend weekends out in the country building trails, hiking and being gear heads. It's pure joy. And Carla is a great mom, of course.


We had a great staff trip to Costa Rica in January. Grace Mena, our gracious and longtime supplier there, created a perfect agenda for us once again. We saw every facet of coffee growing and even had time for some coffee picking and other contests. We also visited the two day care centers that we help fund and it was great for our teammates to see this first hand. They are simply inspiring. My host family from when I lived there as a foreign exchange student always joins us for a few days at the beach before we return.

We were home just a bit and then Normy and I were off to Colombia. Normy was a judge at the Cup of Excellence (COE) competition and I spent time with another dear friend and longtime supplier, Salim Janna. Before I left I told Nathan, our plant manager, that each time I travel with Normy, I find out something interesting that I didn't know about him...and I met him in 1987. Well, shortly after we met up in Bogota we exited the airport and saw a long line of taxis and Normy said, "I drove a cab once." I couldn't believe it...but he did, in Omaha and Council Bluffs early in his marriage. What a hoot!

We traveled to Huila, a province in the south, where we've been sourcing our Colombian coffee since 1999. In fact, back then it was often chic in the Specialty Coffee industry to mock Colombian Coffee as not being 'special'. But of course this was bull and for many it took the first COE competition to provide them the 'cover' to get into the Colombians. Thanks to Salim, our long term relationships with the farmers there are stronger than ever and we help by contributing to a day care/community center located in the middle of the region where we purchase our extraordinary coffee. It is beautiful and when you see the children, you just don't want to leave. They really stretch the dollars and have done an amazing job with the kids. (Our Colombian coffee is called Pitalito Estates if you've never had it and it has an awesome aroma, chocolate/caramel flavors and a long, lingering aftertaste).

Both of these trips provided a reprieve from the negative news here in the USA. It's not like there isn't hardship in these countries, too, but it's that they don't dwell on it. I think the focus is much more on the family and having a positive attitude toward life in general. To whatever one can attribute it, it was sorely needed and very much noted and appreciated. I've always tried to surround myself with strong, positive, optimistic people and I'm convinced it makes a huge difference.

We came back just in time for the St. Patty's Day parade here in Kansas City. It was a beautiful day and the team did a great job with our float. Terry (our 3 year old) rode with us this year and had a riot. Since green is his favorite color, he was in heaven.

The Roasterie Cafe

The Roasterie Café staff in Brookside is continuing to just do a spectacular job. Their staff is solid and happy, the place looks great, we're getting tons of compliments and their business is up significantly. Hats off to Carla and her two top leaders, Ric and Emily, for their great leadership. We use an independent company to survey customers and they are simply rockin' the house. New Rule: "No drama Obama"! They just decided that they have a great place to work, full of kind and friendly customers and that they really didn't want anyone bringing their drama and baggage to their store. So, just a couple of folks had to go be happy somewhere else and they took an already pretty cool place to work and hang out and made it even better. For the last 3 years, the rest of the company kind of felt like the Café depended on them; leaned on them. I would say that the Café is more than holding its own now and even leading the way in terms of a cultural shift. Their 'no victims' approach has fostered an atmosphere that you can feel the minute you walk in the door.

They'll soon be expanding, in two phases; phase 1 will focus on the addition, first. Then the inside will be completely updated and remodeled. Look for even more comfortable seats and two outlets per person! We've logged every customer suggestion and even added a few of our own. You never know...curbside service may be coming to Brookside; stay tuned.

And speaking of The Roasterie Café, it's that time of the year again! Kansas City Magazine is conducting its annual 'best of' competition and the Café staff and I would love to have your vote. If you feel so inclined, please just click the link below and then follow directions: Thank you.

Iowa Roots

Normy and I took a trip to Iowa State to speak to an entrepreneurial conference there. We also spoke to several different classes and it was surreal to be back on campus, sitting in the classrooms, staying at the Memorial Union. This is where I had my first interviews for the CIA back when I was a senior there. I spoke to a couple of my professors and we learned a great deal from the students and faculty. I am uplifted each time I visit a college campus and always come away with the feeling that this next generation is going to do just fine.

Normy has always heard me talk about Denison, Iowa so much that he wanted to go through it on the way back to Kansas City. So, we took the scenic route and I showed Normy where I grew up...complete with the Donna Reed story and our "It's a Wonderful Life" water tower. My brother Brian met us and helped with the tour. If you could crawl inside a Norman Rockwell painting...that would be the Denison, Iowa where I grew up. I'm more grateful every year.
I stopped on Avenue "C" and told Normy a story about delivering papers. All the boys had a paper route (at least the older 4!) and I used to help my brother Pat when I was in 4th grade. There were 9 houses on the other side of Avenue "C" that were a long way away from the other part of the route and I would do those for him. I delivered them 3 times a week and he paid me a quarter a week. We used to wait for the papers to come off the press and in the winter it would be freezing. There were often breakdowns and we'd have to wait to get our papers. If we went into a nearby café, we'd have to buy something; hot chocolate was a dime and I almost never would break down and buy it. The paper routes, like working on the farms, helped shape our work ethic. Oh, I could write a book on the things that shaped our work ethic.

And speaking of papers, what about the demise of newsprint makes people feel happy or giddy? I've heard so many jokes about it but it makes me sad. The smartest people I know are big readers...books, newspapers and magazines. I love my Kindle but it will never fully take the place of newsprint. And when newsprint does go away, who's going to originate all the news that the websites simply repurpose? If it's 'everyone', imagine the ridiculous urban legends on the internet now...and people actually believing charge of writing the news? Hopefully the reporters will find a way to migrate over before it's too late.


We have relationships with a number of college and universities and are launching a scholarship program this Spring. We piloted a test with Johnson County Community College and it has been extremely well-received so we are expanding it to all colleges and universities that we do business with. Basically, it's pretty simple; we take a % of the revenue we do with the school and rebate it for scholarships. While there are no strings, we hope that it's going to folks who would not otherwise be able to attend college. If it were not for Pell Grants, I would not have been able to attend...or it would have been a much, much tougher route. If you know of a college or university that you feel would be a good match for The Roasterie, please tell them about us.

ISO 9001

Nathan continues to lead us towards ISO 9001certification. ISO 9001 is an extremely detailed quality assurance program that is very process-driven. It's all about extreme customer satisfaction and getting your processes in place in order to deliver this. The unintended consequence, thus far, is that it's really increased our internal satisfaction. While initially the meetings and the detail can be nearly dreadful, once the processes are in place it's incredibly powerful and builds confidence, big time. We still have a lot of work to do and we'll always focus on improvement but the payoffs already have been significant. We're much more efficient, we're continuing to cut costs and quality is increasing across the board, in everything that we measure. And, believe me, we are measuring everything. Indeed, this is a major turnoff for many companies who don't proceed with it as it entails an extraordinary amount of work; tedious on the front end. But, if one is successful...and we will be, it provides the structure and processes for a nearly bulletproof delivery of quality. Now Nathan has taken it to the Café and they are laying the groundwork as the roasting plant has; and I believe that this has also helped with their success.

New Website

The work continues on our new website and we will launch on July 1st. It is an extraordinary amount of work and detail and we're blessed to have such a great team. Our friend Ethan Whitehill and his staff at Two West are helping us streamline the process to make it as simple and sweet and possible. There will be many, many more features and simplicity will rule the day. Form will definitely follow function...I have to suspect that a few of you have been stuck in those maddening loops (like voice mail!), where all you wanted to do was buy something or ask a quick question. Well, we're doing our best to make it easy to do business with us. Oh, we do have some great specials right now! Check it out at

We'll also be doing a much better job with all the social media in the coming months. While I'm good for a twitter or a blog now and then, we've just not been very attentive in this area of media. In fact, Salim helped me set up a Facebook page several years ago and I've never been back on! And I honestly don't know when I'd even fit it in. But if there are other ways in which you would like to communicate with us, please just drop me a line. It's not for lack of interest...we just have a lot going on!


It's been a little slim during this quarter in the book department; the kids are killing me! Sophie doesn't sleep as late as Terry, and now I can't stay up as late. I did read "Success" and found it to be a good, fast read; I would throw in "Sense of Urgency" (I don't need any help in this department!) and "Purple Cow" into the same bucket as well...good, fast reads worth the time. "Egonomics" was my favorite business book of the last few months and I highly recommend it. I'm reading "Making It Stick" right now and while I'm still not half way through, I would definitely recommend it; very, very powerful and convincing.

Finally, reading "The Last Lecture" really impacted me, as it did millions of others. In fact, as I write to you tonight, all I can think about is the surgery one of my best friends in life is having early tomorrow morning. We've been best friends since middle school and he had a tumor on his appendix that exploded. It was malignant and so it created this horrible mess in his stomach that needs to be cleaned up. It's the first time that I've had to deal with something like this with a close friend and it's been very difficult. We're praying like crazy for him and as a believer in prayer, I'm sharing this with you in the hopes that you'll add him to your prayers, if you are so inclined. His name is Jim Svoboda and in addition to being a terrific coach and positively impacting young athletes, he is the epitome of a great human being.

Fleetwood Mac

We topped off a grueling week last week with the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Sprint Center. I had not seen them since 1980 and it was spectacular! If you're a fan, go see them if you have the chance. Now "Go Your Own Way" is one of Terry's favorite songs and he 'air guitars' it...left-handed. Not sure where that comes from!.

End of This Journey

We absolutely appreciate you and thank you for your support. We are in the middle of a lot of exciting projects and while we don't live with our heads stuck in the sand, we do choose the road of confidence in the future and focusing on the opportunities in front of us. We are grateful for your continued support and wish you the best summer of your lives. Normy is still doing tours every Saturday at 9:00 A.M. at the roasting plant and he'd love to see you. We get many groups during the week, too, and you're always welcome.

Thank you from all of us on your Roasterie team!

Danny O'Neill
Bean Baron

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Roasterie Cafe

The Roasterie Café is on fire! In witnessing our staff, I get the same feeling as I do while watching my kids do new and awesome things. I am so proud and amazed at the same time.
It’s all about having the ‘who’…then the ‘what’. That is, having the right folks on the bus; then, worrying about where they’re sitting. If you have the wrong people on the bus, then it doesn’t matter where they sit…it’s not going to work. And if you have the right people to begin with…they don’t care where they sit. They’re just happy and grateful to be on such an awesome bus!
We’ve been open in Brookside for about three and a half years and I thought that we’d open with the kind of team, camaraderie, and culture that we have now. But as my more experienced friends told me, it takes time. Our staff right now oozes positive mojo and this is reflected in everything that they do. They smile, joke and laugh with customers and knock out awesome tasting (and looking) drinks. Our customer satisfaction scores have been running so high that they look false!
When we first opened, the staff had complained about the tips and we had a frank discussion about this. I said that there was not a clearer, more direct line between our service and how the customer feels about that service…than the tip jar. As our service improved, so did their tips, hitting $7/hr. on a recent shift.
A couple of weeks ago I was trying to pull the lessons, the ‘secrets’ from Carla, our store manager, about the store’s success. I told her that we wanted to apply the key lessons learned to the roasting plant. She said that she and her staff had discussed it…and that it was simply having the right people on the bus and the ‘wrong’ people off. Unhappy people had to go somewhere else and when that happened…magic occurred. They did almost two thousand drinks one day a couple of weeks ago and the staff was shocked when they found out. They said that while they knew it was busy, it all went so smoothly and everyone worked so well together that it was easy.
Here’s to our awesome team at Roasterie Café…and having the right people on the bus! And if you like it now, just wait till you see the new expansion and remodel…lots of excitement in the months aheadJ.!
If you like what we do and feel so inclined, please vote for us for Kansas City’s Magazine “Best Coffee Shop” at

Thank you,

Danny O’Neill
Bean Baron
The Roasterie, inc.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Living Life on the Rim, One Cup at a Time

I recently gave this speech at a Park University commencement. It was a great opportunity and a wonderful way to collect some recent thoughts. I'd like to share this with you.

“Living Life on the Rim, One Cup at a Time”
Park University Commencement Speech
Saturday, May 9, 2009

Good morning students, family, administrators, staff and guests. Thank you so much for the privilege of sharing a few words with you this morning. It is indeed an honor. When my father was alive he’d always remind me, “Son, they will never remember what you say…but they’ll always remember that it was short!” So, my commitment to you this special morning is to keep it short and get you on your way to capturing your dreams.

My wife and I were talking about you all a few weeks ago and I admitted that I did not remember anything from the speakers at either my undergrad or graduate school ceremonies. I told her that I would find a cute story, more like an anecdote, that perhaps you would remember. It came my way from a friend and fellow Park University board member, Gene Ruiz.

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a tiny boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked why he didn’t stay out and catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

He answered, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I eat a relaxing dinner and play the guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life senor’."

The American scoffed, "I have a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat; with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several more boats, eventually owning your own fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The fisherman asked, "But senior, how long will all this take?"

To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then, senior?"

The American laughed and said, "That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich; you would make millions."

"Millions, senior? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll into the village in the evenings where you could eat a relaxing dinner and play your guitar with your amigos."

The lesson is, take time to enjoy the really important things as you pass through life.
I am proud to be here with you today and proud to serve you as a member of the board of directors. As an entrepreneur, I have a special love for Park University, for its entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ways to teach. And Park was global when nobody knew what global really meant; and Park was all about diversity when diversity wasn’t popular. I began working with Park back when they had students from less than 50 different countries; now you’re well over 100!

I feel at home at Park University and I especially love the way they “get” entrepreneurialism. I have the same feeling on campus as I do at the Kauffman Foundation; they understand and can teach entrepreneurs…and I love that.

At the end of the day, at the end of our lives, I believe one of the basic tenants, one of the most fundamental “what’s life all about” issues is the pursuit of happiness. If you think about it, nearly everything we do, consciously or unconsciously, is with this end goal in mind. And I firmly believe that this journey towards happiness begins with following your dreams.

Perhaps like some of you, I come from very humble beginnings. I was number five of ten children and there was not a lot of money to go around. But we had instilled in us an incredibly hard work ethic by our parents, as well as the notion of sacrifice. This principle fell out of favor this last decade but nothing like a crisis and shortage of money to make it somewhat popular again!

I do believe in sacrifice and to a great extent, you all sacrificed these past four years by attending university; you invested in this degree so that you could increase your opportunity and fulfill your dreams.

Few among us would pass at the chance of making more money, all things being equal. And sometimes when we’re young we chase the dollars, thinking that if we can just make a certain amount of money, then we know we’ll be happy. But we soon find out that this is a fool’s errand; it simply never works. One must first begin with their passions, their inspirations: their dreams. For success follows your dreams, not the other way around. If you are following your passion, then you are much more likely to be successful. And when you’re successful, you’ll make the living that you need to; and you’ll be happy.

Of course, I was fortunate enough to find my passion as a high school foreign exchange student in Costa Rica. To this day, coffee is still my passion. To paraphrase Jack Palance in Blazing Saddles, it's my "one thing; just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean ____."

At The Roasterie, we've even written a manifesto to express that one thing. In closing, I'd like to share it with you in hopes you, too, will find and follow your passion. It’s called “Live Life on the Rim” and it goes like this:

Who wants to be a statistic? Certainly not us. They say half of America drinks coffee every day. We say that’s a lot of bad coffee.

You see, we believe a life worth living deserves a coffee worth drinking. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to find the best coffees in the world.

We’re not your “Average Joe”, and we won’t settle for an average cup o' joe either. We’re coffee connoisseurs. We can taste and smell the difference. Our quest for the best is not a choice, it’s an obsession born of a career spent in coffee fields and cafes.

For us, coffee isn’t just a beverage---it’s a code we follow. It defines who we are and how we live. And for us, that means living life to the fullest and savoring every second. Taking chances and giving back. Our objective: no regrets and no bad coffee.

Life is too short to drink nasty coffee…and to not follow your dreams. I wish you Godspeed in your unique adventure.

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Letter From Normy

Hey I wanted to post Normy's Adventure Diary from our last trip to Huila. Normy's journals are always very heart felt and I love to read them so I thought it would be nice to share this one. Reading it makes me feel like I am there in Colombian with all the people we care about. Enjoy!


We catch the early morning flight out of Bogotá for a short hop to Neiva in southern Colombia. It’s been eight years since we have been in the state of Huila and it feels like coming home. Eight years ago we had to be cautious as rebels were very active but all that has changed. I remember then being told to keep a low profile but with Danny being six foot eight that was hard to do. Our guides are Roberto Velez and Ricardo Granados who work for out exporter Condor South America. We land safely and start the four and a half hour journey by car south to the town of Pitalito. The mountains loom large as we talk about coffee on the very good roads. We stop on a high ridge to look over the Magdalena River which flows far below, the ant like fishermen are busy at their craft. Back in the car we are soon stopped at a police checkpoint and everyone is searched for weapons except me, the likely reason the rebels have been stopped being so active, we see police presence everywhere (surprisingly we saw less security in Bogota than eight years ago). Lunch is at the restaurant Apepitos for typical Colombian meal of rice, chicken and soup, the portions are very large and if a bowl goes empty they bring another one. A dog in the distance seems to be unhappy and barks relentlessly, we joke that the restaurant should be called “The Barking Dog Cafe”. As we dine we talk about the main Colombia crop which was down 20% (2 million bags) which has made Colombian coffee prices go up, supply and demand in action. The reason is that the rains went beyond the normal time they would normally cease, speculation about why goes from a fluke of nature, El Niño, global warming to the wrath of God. Everyone is wondering about the Mitaca (fly crop) that will be picked shortly, indications are that it too will be short. Colombia like most countries that sit on the equator have a main crop and a second smaller crop each year and Colombia is currently ranked number three in world production behind Brazil and Viet Nam. We arrive at Pitalito a town in Southern Colombia that houses a receiving station for the coffees we purchase, this is not the same building that we visited on our trip here eight years ago, it was much smaller. The warehouse is virtually empty except for a very few bags that represent the last of the main crop, in one corner is a child’s tricycle. We go into the office and cup the last of the main crop coffees, one of them has phenol in it which is a mysterious iodine medicinal taste (theories of what cause it range from fertilizer, the drying process, the varietal or the wrath of God) that is prevalent in Colombia, another cup is borderline ferment which is caused by being in the fermentation tanks too long. Ricardo says that when the coffee arrives from the San Augustine region father south where our coffees are grown they are kept separate here from the other coffees of Huila as they are the best, all lots are cupped and the best are held for the Roasterie. We tour the town and settle into the Hotel Timanco for the night going out for a late supper.

SUNDAY MARCH 15th, 2009
In the morning we are picked up in a Chevrolet SUV that runs on natural gas and we head south for our trip to San Augustine. As we head out of town I ask if Pitalito has an airport and Roberto says yes that is it on the right, both Danny I see nothing but an empty field, any flat field could theoretically be an airport. We discuss the possibility of buying a coffee farm one day and are assured it could be done; it would give us a place to bring customers and employees. We pull off onto a very steep dirt road in the very heart of the San Augustine region trying to avoid the deep ruts, to our right are spectacular vistas, coffee growing everywhere. We park in front of the Finca Villa Sol which is one of the farms the Roasterie buys from and are greeted by the farmer Jose Rubiel Gonzales, his wife and their two teenage children. The farm consist of two hectares (5 acres) and the total production in coffee is 7500 pounds a year, thirty percent being Supremo which is a grade of larger coffee beans and the grade the Roasterie buys. A small dog walks with us as we tour the farm. Jose points at some of the large trees that shade the coffee and says it is called a guano tree and is one of the trees in this part of Colombia that traditionally shade the coffee fields. We walk up hill through the coffee fields; the trees are ripe with fruit as the fly crop matures. Roberto tells us that the Colombia Federation (a non-governmental organization that works with farmers in many areas) is working with farmers to renew their fields with new coffee trees every five years meaning that fifteen to twenty percent of the farm is not producing coffee. He points to trees on the left side of the path that are eight years old which have minimal fruit and to trees on our right that are four years old whose branches are heavy with fruit. Colombia wants to increase production from the current output of twelve millions bags a year to fourteen million bags in the next five years by planting more trees and making sure the trees already in the fields are producing the maximum amount of fruit. These fields are of the varietal Caturra and Typica. The Federation provides seeds to the farmers at reduced cost to encourage the five year renewal program. I ask if the seeds provided are of the current varietals planted here or are they replanting these fields with the hybrids that the Federation has come up with, the main one being Castile, I am assured it is the farmers choice. Jose’s family has no car or truck relying on a small motorcycle for transportation. When the coffee is processed and ready to go to the receiving station in San Augustine it is put in bags and transported on the roof of the bus that comes by daily. I ponder if the children will remain on the farm or like so many places in the world move to the city. We drive farther up the mountain to another farm the Roasterie purchases coffee from, Enpresa Familiar el Diamate which means “Family Enterprise of Farm Diamond”. The farm is owned by Erazo Libardo. It is 6.5 hectares (16.acres) and produces between twenty and twenty five thousand pounds a year. They tell us that it has been too wet and that the flowering has been delayed, they need a minimum of four to five days of sun for the flowering. They also tell us that the broca seems to be more prevalent than in years past, probably because of the rains. I asked about the African wasp that were released a number of years ago to combat the broca and they tell us they have not been very effective, keeping the fields clean of decaying coffee beans on the ground is the most effective way to combat them and keep them from breeding.. They are also seeing more coffee rust on the leaves than in years past. The farm hires 30 employees during the harvest who are paid on how much they pick and are paid daily; any disruption in the harvest affects a wide circle of people. They especially make an effort to hire widows in the community of which there are several and all the workers are provided three meals a day when they are working. A good worker can pick eighteen to twenty baskets a day. We tour the farm and then are invited to sit with the family in their kitchen having coffee and a dessert they have prepared, the farmer and the buyer sitting down together, both part of the chain that brings coffee to the consuming nations of the world, both appreciative of each others efforts.. As we exit the home a Chiva (also called a Escleras) makes its way up the mountain. Chiva’s are colorful buses that you see all over Colombia, this is the twice daily bus (morning and evening) that hauls the coffee to the receiving station in San Augustine where we will go next. Anyone wanting to go to town has transportation both ways. We inquire about Rufino Lazo who we met eight years ago but sadly are told he has passed over. When I think about our previous visit I remember his warm smile and the hospitality he and his wife Carmen showed us. A short ride and we arrive at the small village of Alto de Obispo. It is here that seven years ago the Roasterie built a community center and this is the first time we have seen it, travel here being too dangerous until recently. As we pull up in front of the building we see a permanent sign beside the main entrance of the Roasterie logo, on the left is the Catholic Church where Sunday Morning Mass is being held, beautiful music wafting out the entrance and to our right is an empty lot with a horse lazily grazing in the cool mountain air. They use the building for a community center in the evening and on weekends but have created a day care center during the week, something we were not aware of till now. We are shown around the building; everything is so clean including the spotless restrooms, they have several classrooms and a kitchen. Danny asks if they have any needs and we are told they would like to convert the empty lot where the horse is into a playground but there is no money to buy the equipment. Danny assures them that we would love to purchase the necessary equipment and have it installed. The day care has allowed women who want to work to do so knowing that their children are being fed and cared for. Some young children arrive (perhaps skipping church) and follow us around as we inspect the facility. We are served a meal of steak and rice as we sit at the tiny table the children use. The music continues to come out of the church as a jeep goes by with coffee plants on the roof, surreal indeed. Some ladies are selling jewelry at the entrance of the church and Danny buys everything they have. We say our goodbyes and head down the mountain to the town of San Augustine, going through a check point where motorcycles are being inspected and as we arrive realize they are having a motorcycle race through the streets later in the day, maybe the police organized the race so they could inspect motorcycles coming into town. Many of the streets are closed but we manage to get to within three blocks of the Condor receiving station and walk to it. It is a small building, it is here that our coffees are brought on the bus from the farm, they then go to Pitalito where they are cupped and the best ones then go from there to the dry mill in Armenia where they are cupped again and the best ones are sold to us. We wish we had time to stay for the motorcycle races but we must get back to Neiva to catch our flight back to Bogota. The path for Roasterie Colombia coffee begins at the farm, it goes by bus to a receiving station in San Augustine, by truck to Pitalito where is cupped, from there by truck to the dry mill of Armenia where it is cupped again the highest quality goes to the Roasterie, it is put in a container and taken by truck to the port of Buenaventura on the Pacific coast, by ship to Oakland, California and then by truck to Kansas City. The trip for quality is long indeed.