by Justin Matheny
Last week, the GG team ventured out to (not-always-so) sunny San Francisco, California to take part in the Good Food Awards Mercantile at the City View at Metreon. It was, for me, a bit of a homecoming and a humbling victory lap for our team that had worked so hard to be able to feature our 2023 Good Food Award-winning coffee, the Sumatra Ribang Gayo natural.
San Francisco, and the Bay Area in general, is home to a particularly highly tuned imbibing culture. Even with taking home first prize in our region with our coffee, it was slightly intimidating to walk into downtown San Francisco to brew our coffee for merchants, winners, finalists, and enthusiasts with amazing palettes. In a city that is also home to one of, if not, the most iconic specialty coffee scenes in the world. Nerves were high to say the least!
While we were dialing our coffee in on some Origami brewers to the -nth degree before the public arrived, our fellow booth residents were setting up as well. The breadth of the fantastic food and drink was outstanding. We had Italian meringue cookies to our immediate left, shortbread cookies directly ahead, a sort of popcorn science project being cooked up next to them, the insane tinned fish people peeling tins open a few booths away, the scope of this mercantile was insane! The smells! The sights! Then, the throngs of professionals started to pour in and the energy of the room took on new heights.
The mercantile is mostly geared towards merchants who’d taste your product, decide if it was indeed good, have a talk about it, or drop a card. This process repeated itself over five hours a blurry, infinite amount of times. The one sentiment I took away from this, as a roaster and a general coffee person, is that the people who came by our booth legitimately loved the coffee we were serving up. From skeptically picking up a cup, taking the first sips, and then watching their faces light up, it reminded me once again how special this coffee is and the ebullient nature of coffee itself. Not only did we walk away from this event triumphant but also energized us to keep doing what we do best: finding the coffees we love, from people who love producing it, to offer this labor of love to people like you, who read things like this!
If you haven’t tried our 2023 Good Food Award-winning Sumatra Ribang Gayo Natural, be sure to do so now, since that coffee has been flying out of our roaster into the hands of our fellow caffeine lovers quite quickly since we released it. Trust me, it’s worth it.