As we enter into a new year, we have been reflecting back on the craziness that was 2021. Over the past year we have seen some difficult times and we have had some wonderful moments as well.
Of course, there was COVID and mask mandates, with these two divisive topics we saw the best and worst in people. We also saw unprecedented shortages in supplies and a labor force that caused staffing issues across every industry. We have seen price increases across the board, from manufacturing supplies, milk alternatives, consumable goods, the list goes on. To say that’s all behind us would be naïve. We are still experiencing shortages and price increases on various products we use. While we are doing our best to minimize the effect this has on our customers, I am afraid some of these will eventually trickle down. Our promise to you is that we will do our part to source new, less expensive products, while maintaining the quality you have come to love and deserve.
Now let’s get on to some FEEL GOOD 2021 Year-in-Review.
We started the year off slow, but when we got going it didn’t seem to stop. We launched a new line of Single-Origin Select Coffees, that were selected by me, final roast profile selected by me. This allowed me something that I have wanted for a longtime…our own Private Label Coffee (more on that in a minute.) We partnered with several new local vendors, some of the partnerships and products worked, others didn’t but we learned a lot. We partnered with a local author to sell her book that she partially wrote here in the shop. We strengthened our relationships with existing young entrepreneurs Made by Anna D and Groundify. We also connected with another young talented 15 yr old, Ben Archer, who is now a resident Blues guitar player. Our pastries also got a revamp as we began partnering with The Krazy Cake Lady. All of these accomplishments were and still are very exciting, and are not an extensive list of what we did in 2021. There are two accomplishments that we are passionately excited about how they will continue to bloom in 2022.
The first of our two major accomplishments is our partnership with two amazing organizations: Grey Matters and The Nick Gonzales Foundation for Brain Tumor Research. We began these partnerships when we hosted our Brain Cancer Awareness Month Kick Off Celebration in May of 2021. Since then, we have raised over $2500 for The Nick Gonzales Foundation and held multiple events at the shop to help spread awareness for these two amazing organizations.
Our second major accomplishment has been a dream of mine for a long time, the launch of our new private label coffee. Each of which are named for things my late father held close to his heart. I have selected coffees that will appeal with light, medium, and dark roast coffee lovers. The feedback on the coffee we use for our espresso has received amazing feedback, we thrive on feedback so the more you give us the better. We are using a new roaster this year, so our bagged coffee selection will look a little different this year.
All in all, 2021 was a good year for The Lounge Coffee and Tea Bar and that is in part because of you, our loyal regulars. We couldn’t have done this without you and your constant support.
Thank you for all you have done, we look forward to seeing you in 2022.
Michael R. Salazar