Happy 5 years!
Today marks 5 years of Mel and I taking over ownership of Steady Eddy’s. So many emotions come to light as we reflect on all that we been a part of.
I have been connected to coffee since I was 16 and started working at one of the big coffee corporations. I saw then, that coffee was more than just a hot/cold energy drink. It could bring people together, it can be the only thing a group of individuals have in common, and it be help create creative spaces where people can work and be personal at the same time. This idea stuck with me at a very young age. I read the autobiography of a famous CEO back in the late 90's, and learned how he almost did not “make it” because people close to him told him to give up his coffee dream. He persisted (a word that I love and my kids are learning in school) that this was his destiny. Almost in that same spirit, I have realized my husband (master roaster) and I and I can serve this community very well with the commodity of coffee.
When we took over, we did not have Facebook, Instagram, website or an icon to represent our business. What we did have though, was something special. We had a true fan base. We went with that and geared up to serve our cyclists and guests better and faster, all the time with the same friendly service that they have known to count on from the previous owners. We brought in a lot of corporate structure, (a work in progress) with my background being in the corporate world, as the Safety and Training Director at CAL INC in Vacaville. It is there, that I work as a full-time corporate officer to help manage an environmental firm, specializing in Asbestos, Lead Based Paint, Mold and other harmfully substances. I protect my workers by providing them with respirators and other life saving equipment and training for the workplace. I love what I do, but I also equally love my work at Steady Eddy’s. I believe this is Mel’s and I’s destiny and we truly enjoy helping our community.
I have sensed at times that the attitude of the public and the town have a direct correlation with how business is doing for us local shop owners in Winters. So, if I am more engaged in telling our story, I see there is less conflict for people to wonder what we are about and what our mission is. That is why you see us very active in our town and at many events. We care about the Friends of the Library and Putah Creek Council because we benefit from it too.
Mel and I have different backgrounds, but both grew up in Solano County. We share a strong work ethic and an ambition to keep going with the flow of success wherever that takes us. We have done that from the start. We got the shop by total destiny, when ex owner Jack Swab approached Mel where he previously worked, and had a conversation that resulted in Mel taking ownership of our home town coffee shop. We had already lived in Winters for 2 years and had our first 2 kids. We were a brand-new family, we were figuring out life and how to be business owners at the same time. We were up for that challenge and at times, were naïve to the obstacles that would come our way. We had to sacrifice our time, more than anything I can say.
This has made me think about some of the greats in town: Berryessa Gap, Turkovich Family Wines, Mariani Nut Company, Buckhorn Steakhouse, Putah Creek Cafe, Pisani’s (Bob and Mel love each other), and all the rest of the wonderful business names in town that have been paving the way for us business owners.
We are a part of a wonderful informal group that meet with some downtown business owners to see how we can help and work together to create a nice business flow in town. I think we are figuring it out as we go, and getting better over time. We also know the importance of our Chamber (Discover Winters) and how we can work with them to increase business in Winters for all of us.
We want to thank the following for their business; Preserve (our first wholesale account), Lester Famers, Buckhorn Catering, Park Winters, PG&E, and others that continue to support our shop and buy the freshest and best tasting coffee around for your business! Also, a shout out to First Northern for being our banking partner and friend in town.
We also want to thank Nancy Northrup, for bringing more music to the community and bridging it over to Berryessa Gap and The Palms. Fun Fact: Nancy was my mom’s high school friend at Vaca High in 1973 and my mom introduced us 5 years ago, and the rest is history! She was our host for the first few years of us doing Open Mic! She now lives here!
We want to thank our staff. Our employees are an essential part of what makes us great!
In closing, we are working on an exciting coffee roasting space for all of you to enjoy. We have been working hard to create a new business, focusing on a “Taste of Winters” and want to have a shop that shows artisan coffee roasting up close. Our retail space will feature work by our vendors and friends, Rebecca Holmes (The Clayground), Pat and Chris of Ciarlo Nut and Fruit, Doneice of Pure Honey, and Jeff and Jenna of Morgan’s of CA. We care about the people we are doing business with and we want that to shine through. We hope you enjoy these new products as much as we do, and we appreciate you shopping locally with us! We now have gifts available at our 5 E Main St Location.
Lastly, I wanted to share this with you. We had a sign put up on the first day of business on December 3, 2013 and it read, “Eat, drink, and be Merry,” Christmas came and went, but the sign has remained because it is the motto of our shop I have come to realize. It is the epitome of what Mel hope to happen when being with us at out shop. So, thank you friends and guests. We hope you, Eat, drink, and be merry! Here is to the next 5 years!
Carla and Mel Wroten (Master Roaster)
Owners, Steady Eddy’s Coffee House