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<h1>Moving Our Warehouse: Update</h1>
<p><span class="inline inline-center"><img src="http://sss.coffeeshrub.com/shrub/sites/default/files/images/IMG_6972.img_assist_custom-450x173.JPG" alt="Panorama of the back half of our new warehouse" title="Panorama of the back half of our new warehouse" class="image image-img_assist_custom-450x173 " width="450" height="173"><span class="caption"><strong>Panorama of the back half of our new warehouse</strong></span></span>
<p>As most of you already know, Coffee Shrub and Sweet Maria's moved to our new warehouse all of last week. The move's gone well, and we're working to shore things up this week. In reality, we'll likely be putting on the "final touches" for weeks to come, but we expect our order fulfillment to be back up to full capacity middle of the week (Wednesday August 31).</p>
<p>This is the first move for Shrub, but for Sweet Maria's, this is the fourth relocation in 17 years. A few years after opening shop in an office space in Columbus, OH, selling small bags of <a class="glossary-term" href="/shrub/glossary/term/467"><cite title="Green coffee is a dense, raw green-to-yellow colored seed. In it's essence, coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree - each fruit having 2 seeds facing each other (the flat side of the coffee " bean")="" or="" in="" the="" case="" of="" peaberry,="" a="" single="" rounded="" seed.="" coffee="" is="" imported="" from="" coffee-producing="" origins="" this="" form,="" then="" either="" roasted="" at="" home="" small="" machines,="" on="" stove="" host="" other="" methods="" ...="" small,="" local="" shop="" batch="" roaster="" ranging="" 5="" kilos="" to="" 50="" large="" commercial="" roaster,="" continuous.="" green="" can="" be="" stored="" for="" months,="" up="" year="" more="" vacuum="" packs,="" with="" little="" no="" flavor="" loss="" (whereas="" starts="" stale="" within="" 10="" days="" roasting.="" not="" really="" bean,="" it="" seed="" fruit="" flowering="" tropical="" shrub."="">green</cite></a> coffee and <a class="glossary-term" href="/shrub/glossary/term/339"><cite title="The process of making an infusion of roasted, ground coffee beans. In the most basic sense, hot water is added to coffee ground to produce a drink. Some brewing methods (espresso, turkish coffee) produce a dense concentrate while other methods (filter drip, vacuum pot) produce a cleaner, more refined cup. Coffee brewing methods have changed much over time and are likely to continue to do so.">brewing</cite></a> cups for the occasional passerby, Sweet Maria's packed up and headed to the sunny West Coast landing in a small warehouse space in Emeryville, CA. We soon outgrew that location, picking up and moving operations to an improved 7000 square foot space in lovely West Oakland where we've spent the last 8 years. We had a good run at location 3.0, where Shrub was born 7 years ago. But if inventory is any indication of growth, we've been bursting at the seem for some time now, and so this move does a <a class="glossary-term" href="/shrub/glossary/term/522"><cite title="Coffee can be separated by lot in any number of ways usually by the processor to distinguish one area of the farm, a particular altitude, particular trees, a particular day's pickings, a particular processing method, etc. For our purposes, the greater the delineation between coffees, the better; it allows us to taste new and different things in coffees that we thought we knew. Differentiating between coffees is the opposite of the commodity approach to coffee, where coffee is treated as corn or soybeans or steel, with batches being interchangeable.">lot</cite></a> to relieve the pressure.</p>
<p><span class="inline inline-center"><img src="http://sss.coffeeshrub.com/shrub/sites/default/files/images/IMG_6973.JPG" alt="Loading dock deliveries to the right, Shrub walk-ins to the left" title="Loading dock deliveries to the right, Shrub walk-ins to the left" class="image image-img_assist_custom-333x250 " width="333" height="250"><span class="caption"><strong>Loading dock deliveries to the right, Shrub walk-ins to the left</strong></span></span>
</p><p>At 15,000 square feet, our new Adeline Street location affords us much more room for green coffee and product <a class="glossary-term" href="/shrub/glossary/term/679"><cite title="Green coffee in general can be stored up to one year from the date of processing with no noticeable changes in flavor. Bright, delicate coffees can fade faster; earthy coffees can last a bit longer. Very often the type and quality of the processing methods used on the coffee will determine how long a coffee will hold up. For example, " miel"="" or="" pulped="" natural="" processing="" very="" often="" shortens="" the="" storage="" life="" of="" a="" coffee="" -="" you="" will="" see="" changes="" in="" flavor="" sooner="" and="" more="" pronounced="" way="" than="" with="" other="" methods.="" ought="" to="" be="" stored="" cool="" dry="" place,="" ideally="" breathable="" container="" like="" burlap,="" cotton.="" for="" hundred="" years="" has="" been="" transported="" same="" way,="" large="" burlap="" jute="" bags.="" recently,="" producers="" have="" experimented="" vacuum="" packaging="" special="" multi-layer="" poly="" bags="" extend="" coffee.="" it="" recently="" that="" become="" greater="" factor="" chain="" coffee."="">storage</cite></a>, as well as additional spaces for hosting demos and cup tasting in the near future. And just as important, we're able to set up the warehouse workflow around working smarter, with less requirement for the strenuous physical labor that comes with constantly trying to fit a boulder into a teacup (or perhaps demitasse is more appropriate!).</p>
<p>To illustrate, last year we purchased and processed 50+ full container loads of coffee in a warehouse that can hold about 1.5 containers max. This meant many, many trips to an offsite storage facility, accompanied by much physical labor organizing 60+ kg bags of coffees in order to have backstock on hand for all of the coffees we sell. Doubling our square footage allows us to change our footprint of how we store coffee, actually quadrupling our storage capacity. Of equal importance is the addition of our very first loading dock, which means we can increase our use of forklifts and other machinery for moving coffee in and out of our warehouse, further decreasing our reliance on the literal backs of employees. We value our bodies, and so lowering the lifting requirements is a huge plus!</p>
<p><span class="inline inline-center"><img src="http://sss.coffeeshrub.com/shrub/sites/default/files/images/IMG_6976.JPG" alt="Marcos tests out our new filling stations" title="Marcos tests out our new filling stations" class="image image-_original " width="375" height="281"><span class="caption"><strong>Marcos tests out our new filling stations</strong></span></span></p>
<p>We didn't build the walls or pour the concrete (well, not all of them at least), but just about everything else has been completely DIY. From dealing with City permits and coordinating building plans on the part of Maria (no small feat!), to Tom's tiling the bathrooms, and to every single employee here taking part in moving, cleaning, and building the infrastructure (which is a HUGE job), this has been a collaborative effort with little to no outside help. This is very much in the spirit of both Sweet Maria's and Shrub as businesses.</p>
<p>It goes without saying that we are excited for this move, and all the possibilities and promise that comes with it. More than anyone, we want to be moved and completely set up today....last week even. But these things take time, this milestone move now 17 years in the making. So for now, I have to get back to unloading a box truck full of coffee, mylar bags, and packing equipment. One step closer to the <a class="glossary-term" href="/shrub/glossary/term/430"><cite title="Similar to aftertaste, but it refers to the impression as the coffee leaves the palate. Aftertaste is the sensations gathered after the coffee has left the mouth. We combine these to form the " final="" flavor="" impression"="" of="" the="" coffee"="">finish</cite></a> line. -Dan</p>
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