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May | June 2022

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A PRECURSOR TO TRUE, non-manufactured optimism is hope, and I believe it is hope that is driving people’s plans and convincing them that now is the time to transform their dreams into actions. There is optimism in the U.S. domestic coffee industry, and in many other burgeoning markets around the world. There is a feeling that the incredible energy and passion that has been fermenting for two years is ready to erupt into new businesses, expanding product lines and growing operations.

Recently, Roast opened and awarded a small business grant with the intent to make an impact by helping a company create opportunities for employees, innovate with technology, commit to equity and diversity in the coffee industry, and develop sustainable practices. I was impressed at the quality of the submissions, and if there was a single thread across the applicants, it was expansion. People are ready with ideas, energy and passion.

Companies and their leaders are prepared with renewed plans and more nimble processes. The past two years have made companies better at dealing with uncertainty. Developing the agility to adjust plans as circumstances change, but keeping to a consistent end goal, has become the foundation of successful businesses.

To read about the grant winner, turn to page 20 (or online, visit the Roast Grant web page.)

A lot can happen in the four weeks between writing a column and delivering a printed magazine to readers. Geopolitical storm clouds are threatening other geographies more directly than the U.S., and there is a certain sadness in writing a column about optimism at a time when so many are suffering. Hope can be fleeting when survival is a daily struggle, but hope is what helps us envision a brighter future and get through hard times.

Please give what you can to help ease the suffering of refugees in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and from all conflicts, and continue to draw strength from the knowledge that small actions by many people are making a difference in the world. Flowers grow both in carefully cultivated fields and in cracks in city asphalt.

Warmest Wishes,

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