Sunday, July 31, 2011

play date with lolly.

spent a portion of thursday with the crew over at third coast and got to spend some time with our girl lolly. she got a bit of a makeover from some friends and is rockin' new gaskets and filters. runs like a champ. a pretty pretty champ.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

something's gotta give.

morning (oh, gosh, afternoon)!

i hope this finds you all well. the wheels have been turning rapidly over here on the vintage heart side of life. no complaints, of course. so, let's see where we are at, shall we?

four meetings tomorrow: lawyers, roasting company (they hold the key to my heart) lending advisors and real estate brokers.

all those meetings basically bring us to: oh my goodness, cross your fingers, we may have a home in september! that's the goal at least.

in learning this 'open up a business all by yourself' process, i have learned so much about not only the coffee/specialty retail world, but also about construction and all of it's finer points (like my fantastic architecture firm ). i have learned that this wonderful city we call home requires you to have about 300 permits. and permits for those permits. and most importantly, i have started making a little home in the coffee niche of wonderful people.

as i have gone through various stages of development and planning i have had to make some changes (which felt like life altering sacrifices at times) for the betterment of the vision and ultimately the shop. now, there are some things that i will not budge on. as in, imagine i am stomping one foot down with fists on hips and glaring at you. there will be no blenders in the shop. none. nope. i won't allow it. it would probably take a divine act for me to change my mind on that one. bhowever, there are some things that i have learned to loosen up on. 'what could that be' you ask?

syrups. i had mentioned in a previous post that all of our syrups were going to be made in-house. i so wanted it to be that way; i had dreamt up random syrups and recipes and practiced in my kitchen, but after speaking with people who have been in the coffee world a lot longer than i have, its just not practical. more importantly, i can't guarantee a level of consistency that you deserve, meaning, your drinks could taste slightly different from batch to batch. now, we will still have a couple in house syrups that may appear seasonally so we haven't completely abandoned the concept.

random interior design elements. i wanted a suspended community table. cool, right? well i had been shopping last summer in echo park and i saw an apparel store had all their denim on a suspended table and i just about died. i thought, 'that needs to happen.' well, it could happen, but then i would need to worry about structural saftey of my building, the exact materials we would need to use in order to create a sway-free floating table (can you imagine the chaos of swinging lattes?) and the off chance that someone would walk right into it..yeah, far-fetched but i have to keep random issues like that in mind.

so, to all of you that have been following along thus far, i'm so glad you are here. the next few months are going to be pretty exciting (i certainly hope!) so the reads should be as well. i look forward to the day when vintage heart opens her doors to you.

be well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

light up.

hello.  i have been pounding out numbers all day long, so i figure it's best to stop and catch up with you fine people.  it often occurs to me that i randomly spout out information regarding the shop -some vague, some detailed - but that i rarely show you something that will be IN the shop. except for lolly, of course. so today i'm going to show you what i swoon over.

this is what the lighting will be based on. i am hoping to keep the shop lit with mostly natural light during the day (big windows!) and softly lit with exposed pendant lamps and lanters.

what do you think? you like?

what would you like to see in the shop? better yet, have any questions about the process/what i'm up to/when you can expect us/my favorite color?

how about that 'rain' yesterday, huh?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

we're still here!


despite the week-long hiatus from the blogosphere, vintage heart lives on.  i do apologize for the silence, though.  last week was somewhat hectic so sitting down, sorting thoughts, and typing sentences was not going to happen.

so, what is new with vintage heart? what's the progress?

well, let me tell you:

- we are THIS close to having an estimated start date. as in, when i get keys and can start building this shop out. hopefully. oh the world of lending, leasing and permitting.
- a couple more lovely local suppliers have joined the ranks! ( i will save the details on that one for later, don't want to overwhelm you with too much on a monday).
- i have been navigating the ins and outs of this city and had the pleasure of meeting so many helpful and kind people.  last week alone i spoke with contractors, architects, accountants, lending advisors and management firms. oh, and bakeries, towel services and milk men. to name a few.

this week will be full of meetings as well, a few less - with a few less harsh deadlines - so i hope to be a bit more present.  i have a stock pile of people to introduce you to so be looking for them soon.

how are you? what have you been up to these scorching-ohmygoshseriously-hot days?

oh, and to start you off right:

i love this video. i hope you do too. the graduate just recently released news that they were no longer, but i recommend clicking on over to their site. they have that perfect summer sound that you don't want to love but you just can't help it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

welcoming committee.

i have been patient; really, i have. but the time has come. i absolutely must introduce you to my dog. his name is magoo and he is fantastic. it's okay to love him.
enjoy your weekend!
p.s. this was taken while we still lived in LA and magoo was pretty tired of all the neighborhood SWAT raids. packed and ready.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

christmas in july.

i have a confession: i'm not a big holiday person.  birthdays tend to be more my thing, but holidays? not so much. 


one of the major reasons i have wanted to open a coffee shop is with the intention of creating a home for people.  a place to come and feel welcome, let go of the breath you have been holding tightly and exhale. somewhere that you know you are genuinely appreciated, if even by a stranger.

home is, for me, a somewhat foreign concept.  i have always been a rambling soul of sorts and have made quite a career out of moving about, never really getting settled. throughout my various journeys, i have embraced the importance of community.  even when you are far from what you would traditionally consider home, it is important to gather and celebrate, to share in life.  so i present to you:

orphan holidays.

on thanksgiving and christmas, vintage heart will be closed.  my employees deserve the opportunity to spend time with their families, so i don't believe in asking them to work.  but vintage heart will be open.  our doors will be open for you to come and sit at our table and enjoy a holiday meal.  all i ask is that you bring a little something with you to pass on to someone else: a blanket, canned goods or any other item that will be of service to someone in need.  you bring that, i'll supply the food (and witty banter if i may say so). 

sure, the first few moments at the table might be awkward, but in the awkward i have made lifelong friends. that awkward led me here, so i believe in it. as the holidays approach (and our doors are actually open) more information will be released as to specifics, but until then, know that you are not alone.  you don't have to sit and watch TNT marathons of the seven varieties of Law & Order all alone with your dog.  you are welcome to my table. heck, bring the pup too.

i hope you all had a wonderful fourth of july and i look forward to seeing you around the vintage heart table soon.

Friday, July 1, 2011

office hours.

please tell me you are all listening to,' july,july!' by the decemberists today. it's a july first must, so get on it.

as the week winds down and holiday festivies are gearing up, i figured i would throw out a teensie FAQ post. almost everyday i am questioned about what is going on with the shop, what stage of the process i am in and what i think about it all. that being said, i thought that perhaps you had those same questions as well. let's dive in.

q:so, where are you exactly in the process?
a: well, i'm learning that the 'process' looks different for everyone, but i have divided mine up into three 'acts' if you will.
       I:move to austin and find the area/location for the shop
      II: begin construction/renovating/making it home
     III: training staff and opening the doors

obviously, within each of these 'acts' there are many steps, but i would say, with confidence that vintage heart finds herself in the middle of act I. a property has been found (omg yessssss, did you just get really excited? good. you should be.)and meetings have been had about what changes to the space need to be made in order for the fancy city of austin to let me do business there. at this point, i am simply waiting for a little mathmagician to figure out the final figures and then i will begin meeting with lenders, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. if a giant check would fall from the sky, that would be perfect. got any rich uncles? send them my way. i will bake them cookies.

q:what's going to be on the menu
a: perfection, of course. but really, the menu will clean and easy to navigate. no bells and whistles. you will have your typical selection of americano and lattes. there will be some house specialties, which will be stunning. there will be no blended drinks (say whaaat? yes. no blenders. it's okay, i love you. we'll talk more about this later). everything on the menu will be sourced as locally as possible, will be as fair trade as possible and will most certainly be organic when possible. a small sandwich menu is in the making and i'm chatting with a local bakery on daily deliveries of their goodness. still thinking about the blenders? it's going to be okay.

q: so, what's the inside going to look like?
a: some things are meant to be kept a'll just have to wait and see :)

q: how do you even go about doing this? where do you start?
a: honestly, i'm learning it as i go. i am thankful that many small business owners have come before me and provided invaluable resources. i am fortunate enough to have found a wonderful team of people (third coast coffee roasters, for one) who have not only been supportive of all my crazy antics, but also insightful and willing to assist.

as far as where i started? well, i mentioned before it started several years ago. i have spent the last few years becoming the kind of person and leader that i have always wanted to be. (i don't like that sentence but i don't know a better way to say that, semantics fail me) i'm still learning. i'm still developing skill-sets pertaining to business ownership and workplace communication. my goal is only to be a fair and kind woman who has a staff who knows they are appreciated and valued. well, and to provide a welcoming place for you to call your coffeehome, of course. oh, and color palettes. lots of playing with color palettes.

q: so where do you get all this work done?
a: everywhere. during 'quiet times' while i nanny as my day job, all night at various kitchen tables to people who host me, at other austin coffee shops. it's usually a sprawl of random papers, folders, beverages and magazine clippings (for inspiration, of course).

hope that answers a few of your questions and gets you excited about what is to come. please have a wonderful and safe fourth of july weekend, everyone. come back to austin in one piece (and if you choose to explode fireworks even though our entire state will probably ignite due to how extraordinarily dry it is, try and come back with all of your limbs).

oh, and this is a slight screenshot of the typicall work space. i'm not embarassed about the mess, but a little bit about the pbr. forgive me? kthanks.