what a year! we were incredibly blessed to not get sick this year and the only day we took off the whole year was Christmas Day. Several employees have had to quarantine and/or get tested for awhile, because please please don't come in to work if you think you could be contagious, but not a single one of us has tested positive yet -- we have been very blessed. Every order went out on time, I don't know how, but we did it. The inside joke here is that we have 24 hour customer service and its all one guy, but its not really a joke--it is me and I answer the phone at 6am, at 11pm, I answer the phone at 2 am and sometimes it turns into a new account in Guam. Sometimes it assures a customer that we are here and we can fix their mailing address.
Global logistics have been an unpredictable mess. Getting any good coffees into the shop was a miracle -- we couldn't visit any farms after February this year, and when we got a gem of a coffee in, it sold out in a few days. Our orders doubled from last year, and even keeping things in stock like paper towels and hand soap was a mission, let alone packaging, boxes, coffees, mailing labels, tape, employees. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to keep all the gears in motion whilst in the middle of a global pandemic. The roof is leaking and we have no one who will come patch it, so we just keep a bucket there and deal with it and that is our allegory for 2020.
Every day you guys put comments on your orders thanking us for being here and saying we were the bright spot in your day, and that's what has kept us going. It was an exhausting and challenging year -- sometimes we worked 24 hours around the clock -- several times I napped at the shop after an extremely long day and the phone rang and I woke up, answered it, got back to work -- sometimes we looked at how much work we had to do and knew we wouldn't make it, but yet somehow made it every single time. We never knew when we might get shut down. We never knew when we might get sick. We never knew what the next day would hold. But we kept roasting coffee because you showed us your appreciation and love, we did it because you gave us purpose. There's 11 of us now, most of us brand new, but all of us passionate, loving coffee, loving our customers, and believing in the mission of making the world a better place by buying incredible coffees that help passionate farmers in third world countries, and then bringing it to average people at approachable prices. We still believe in rocking the industry. Guess what! Magical sweet fruity Ethiopian coffees shouldn't cost $30 a pound. That's greed. Let's keep magical coffee approachable to everyone. Let's help farmers and buy responsible coffees and sell it at prices that make sense. In truth, it has been nice to have a distraction from everything going on in the world. We walk into the shop and feel a sense of normalcy and purpose and safety. "here are orders we need to fill! we need to get these coffees roasted and packed up and shipped out, let's go! people are counting on us!" if you all hadn't ordered from us, we'd be moping at home feeling scared and sorry for ourselves. We need you as much as you need us!
We've faced challenges that in a normal year you wouldn't even have to think about. But all in all it's the best thing that has ever happened to Happy Mug. We have been assured of our purpose and necessity.
I don't know if 2021 will be any easier. The pandemic is hitting our town hard right now, and international travel is still not an option and there are all kinds of problems that you don't even hear about. Did you know there's a paper shortage? There's a delay in getting our mailing boxes because there's a paper shortage for making the boxes. Things like that.
Coffee brings people together, from all cultures, all backgrounds, all opinions. There's just something about coffee that makes us all come together. And that's why we love being in the coffee industry. Thank you for needing us. Stay strong. We are all in this together.