29 January 2012

hello, & goodbye, & hello again

Hi. I'm leaving Intelligentsia.

If you had asked me a month ago when I would leave Intelligentsia, I would've told you to shut your face. I would've told you that I'm happy & that I have no reason to leave — that I've enjoyed a startling pace of personal & professional development under the guidance of the four managers (!) & the five educators (!!!) with whom I've worked. I'd tell you that I've had the distinct privilege to go to El Salvador to visit coffee farms & mills to see how it all begins. I'd tell you that I've carved out a truly satisfying niche in the company, & I'd tell you that it would have to be something really big for me to go. All of this is true.

This is really big.

Two friends of mine, fans of Intelligentsia & life-long coffee aficionados, have approached me about helping them build a new coffee company from the ground up. Like at Intelligentsia, they will be serving rarified beans in a world-class coffee bar armed to the teeth with the best equipment. Unlike at Intelligentsia, my title will be somewhat loose. I will have the opportunity to craft my own position over time, using my experience in coffee, my years in advertising & marketing, & my love for teaching & engaging with the public. It's not the title that appeals to me (we haven't yet nailed one down). What appeals to me is the opportunity to use everything I've got — everything. Big. Like this guy's beard.

It's called Primo Passo Coffee Company — primo passo means "first step" in Italian, as it's my two new colleagues' first foray into being coffee professionals after years of being avid enthusiasts (& years of doing research). It's in Santa Monica, on Montana & 7th. We're not yet open, but we will be opening very soon. I hope you stop in to say "hello" when we do. Meanwhile, my last day at Intelligentsia Pasadena is Thursday February 2nd. I'll miss you.

... Unless you're on the west side, in which case I won't miss you at all. We can totally get Santouka, like, ALL OF THE TIME.


Anonymous said...

The first step is admitting you're powerless over coffee and your life is unmanageable without it!

best of luck

Katie O'Shea said...

Well played, Anonymous! Sometimes I wonder ... as I brew my second Chemex of the day....

The Moondance Kid said...

Brava! (i think? right?)
very admirable step, im very excited for you.
in other news: we will be in closer proximity- you on montana, me at the main library on santa monica blvd.
high five, darling.

sean bonner said...

Holy wow. Congrats. This sounds awesome, and if it got you to leave intelli I know it more than sounds awesome. Can't wait to see where this goes!

Katie O'Shea said...

Thanks, Sean. I'm thrilled. The space is beautiful, the beans smell like heaven, & the machines ... ohhh the machines. I can't wait to open our doors & let people in.

Hanako, you work at the main library now! I was already excited to be that close to a library, but now I'M EVEN MORE EXCITED.