Every Great Meal Deserves Great Wine

Coffeebar Wine Tasting

We all come from different backgrounds, living situations and places around the world, but on Thanksgiving Day we come together as family. However you choose to celebrate there is bound to be a good meal, and every great meal deserves great wine!

For my family, Thanksgiving is the most anticipated and carefully planned meal of the year. Each family member spends hours preparing and planning to contribute in their own way. Typically, my responsibilities are selecting the wines and baking pies from scratch.  Since I come from a large Italian family, the task of choosing wines that everyone will love can be intimidating. If you want to impress your family, look no further.

This year I’ve planned ahead and Coffeebar is offering a new way to think about your Thanksgiving wine. Just as you pre-order a turkey, you can now pre-order your wine. I’ve hand-selected six perfect wines to be paired with a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and provided a festive carrying case for easy travel. Each wine comes with its own tasting notes, which includes suggested food pairings to help you and your guests enjoy each wine to its full potential!

As Coffeebar’s resident wine expert, I thought it was important to choose wines that offer a range of styles and tastes.  Each wine is worldly and approachable, with some classic favorites that will be sure to please a number of palettes.

To pre-order your Thanksgiving wine,  ask one of our Coffeebar cashiers next time you come in for a drink, it might even be me! You can always email me directly at lisa@coffeebarreno.com.

Would you like to taste the wine before purchasing? A week before Thanksgiving, Coffeebar will be featuring these Thanksgiving sections at our wine tasting event. Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about each wine before serving to family and friends.

Coffeebar Wine Tasting November 19th, 2015 (7pm-9pm)

Pre-Sale Price $20 (Now - November 18th)

At Door Price $25 (November 19th)

For pre-sale prices please call Coffeebar to buy your ticket or head into our Mt. Rose Street location.

Coffeebar’s Thanksgiving Wine Package is $150.00

A value of $200.00

Pre-orders begin November 1st until November 19th.

For pre-orders please call Coffeebar or head into our Mt. Rose Street location. Once ordered wine may be picked up a week before Thanksgiving at our monthly wine tasting, November 19th.


Sludge: The Unfiltered Coffeebar Journey

I have this dream where I walk into Coffeebar early in the morning, grab the New York Times, get a cappuccino from my favorite barista (yes I have one) and read the paper cover to cover. I can usually accomplish steps one and two depending on the day, but step #3 has been ever illusive these past five years. As I am writing this morning, I am sipping a single origin coffee from Panama in my favorite Denver Broncos mug, circa 1973, pondering my next cappuccino with equal weight to my next paragraph. 

Last month, I talked about the extreme difficulty of running a coffee shop in Truckee, California. Hiring, turnover, training, more hiring… The Truckee two-step: two people in and two people out. While publicly voicing the trials and tribulations of running a business in a seasonal mountain community, I am also reminded that while things are difficult there is a lot to be thankful for. 

October 11th was our five-year anniversary at the Truckee location. Wow! Five years has gone by in an instant. I remember very clearly the first few months, but since then it has been a blur of espresso shots, dishes, regulars and seasons. The one thing that hasn’t changed since day one is why I opened Coffeebar, why I love it, why I work the long hours, and maybe the most interesting question... why Coffeebar has reached the five-year mark in a location where two other coffee shops had failed?

Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What inspires you? Simon Sinek has a great Ted Talk called “Start With Why.” In this talk, which I highly recommend, he explains the concept of the Golden Circle. There are three circles that relate to a company or product: the What, the How and the Why. To summarize his talk, almost 100% of employees know what their organization does. Some employees know how they actually do it, but very few people know why they exist.  We are not talking about profit here, we are talking about purpose. The ‘why’ of your business is the secret ingredient. If you can communicate to your employees and to your customers the ‘why’ of your business, then you have a higher chance for success. To steal a quote from Simon, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” 

The reason why Coffeebar has been successful where others have failed is very simple, our ‘why’. “At Coffeebar we make people feel good, so they can go out into the world and achieve their dreams.”

Simple! Does that say anything about great coffee? Gelato? Beer and wine? Nutella croissants? No. Those are all delivery mechanisms for our ‘why’. “We make people feel good!” It is such a basic statement, but it’s truly the reason for our existence. Without it, we would just be another coffee shop on a corner serving up the brew of the day. So as we head into the holidays, I am grateful for many things, but I am truly thankful that I know my ‘why’.

What is yours?


Sludge: The Unfiltered Coffeebar Journey

People ask me all of the time, “hey can I talk to you, I want to start my own coffee shop.”  I always respond with “have you ever worked in a coffee shop before? Nine times out of ten the answer is “No”.  So then I respond with “why don’t you go out and get a job at a coffee shop for six months, if after that period of time, you still want to still open one up, I will help you.”  I hear back from less than 1% of these people.  You know why… because running a coffee shop is fucking hard.  It is as they say, “THE GRIND”.  You wake up every day before the sun and often go to sleep long after it has set.  At Coffeebar in Truckee, I took only 5 days off in the first calendar year we were open.  I joked with people that I worked half time… twelve hours a day, seven days a week!

If you are operating a coffee shop that has any sort of volume, you have to have employees to help you run the operation. AND your business will either live or die by the type of employees you have.  My business is only as good as the person behind the register, or behind the bar, on any given day.  In fact, Starbucks values these people so much that they call them Partners.  Coming from a sports background, I like to call them teammates… and without a great team, your business will fail.

To ensure your success, you have to make sure you have the right amount of teammates trained in the proper way to allow for your vision to be executed. In our business we treat our staff more like family more than employees.  If you have been in any of our stores, you will notice an immediate difference between the service you get at Coffeebar and other places.  Excellent customer service is our secret ingredient!  Our training program is several weeks and sometimes months long depending on the position.  The tough part of staffing is that even if you are running an exceptional business you may only change over a few people every few months but if you have a business in Truckee, you will lose and need one almost every week.  How can you possibly plan for that?

First, Truckee is perhaps the most transient place that I have ever operated a business in my restaurant/café career. “The Tahoe Lifestyle,” lasts about 3-6 months for most people and then “POOF”… they’re gone. Let’s do some math…  in 2014 aside from the 20+ team members still working at the New Year, we had … drumroll…. FIFTY-SEVEN … yes, 57 W2’s of people that were no longer working for us!  In Reno the same comparison was four! It costs $800 to properly train a team member, so if you’ve lost 57 of them over the course of a year it’s lost revenue of over $45,000! So if you think the rest of the business is hard, try staffing in Truckee!

So if you still want to open a coffee shop then…stay tuned for next month’s column!

And just incase you don’t know, we’re hiring in Truckee. Go figure. 


Sludge: The Unfiltered Coffeebar Journey

Five years ago this week I was getting ready to sign a lease for what would become my first Coffeebar location in Truckee.  I had experienced this moment many times before, 15 times to be exact, but this time was a bit different.  It was just I, no partners, and no investors as of yet and I was looking at a space that had been vacant for over a year and had only previously been occupied by two failed coffee shops. To boot, I only had $100 left in my bank account.

I grew up in Colorado and had spent all of my 35 years in Winter Park, Steamboat & Boulder, but in 2009 I decided it was time to go.  A crazy trip to India gave me the clarity that I needed to leave and once I returned to the states, it took about two months to pack, replace myself at work and head west with a lightly padded savings account and dreams of a California Coffeebar. 

Fast-forward eight months… I was couch surfing with my friend and doing the master cleanse to save money! I have taken many risks in my career as an entrepreneur, but those risks have always been supported by a safety net.  This time I did not… it was I, my $100, my pen and the finer details of this five-year commitment.

I took a deep breath, signed the lease and simultaneously made my first investor call. Raising capital is hard… of all the investors that said they would give me money; only two (out of twenty) actually came through.  I beat the street for more friends, family and acquaintances.  In 60 days I raised $100,000 and put $40,000 on my only credit card.  We opened Coffeebar Truckee on October 11, 2010.  In two months we were doing enough daily business that we were cash flow positive, but just barely.  That first year I worked 360 out of 365 days.  I had a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude and survived on espresso and nutella croissants.  Luckily, Truckee was thirsty for a community hub serving up the Italian lifestyle and good cup of coffee.  We were fortunate enough to survive the first year with a cushion in our savings account and the rest is history.

We opened Coffeebar Reno in January of 2014 to a neighborhood of resentment and skepticism. The adversity motivated us even more to prove to Reno that we were a company of high values, high quality coffee and excellent customer service.  We remained humble and appreciative of the opportunity to serve our community the best we could.  Again, we were well received and were extremely grateful to our neighborhood for loving us as much as we now love them. 

The success of the Reno location has given us the opportunity to expand yet again.  We opened up the Coffeebar Bakery in Truckee in April and we are about to sign a lease for a new concept in the Bay area.  This column in the RTT will be your own personal Coffeebar Reality show.  Every month you will get the raw, unfiltered updates on our trials and tribulations as we try to bring our Reno/Tahoe concept to a bigger market and show the city that we mean business.

~greg b, owner, coffeebar

Read the article here in September’s edition of Reno Tahoe Tonight



Walking the Walk- Coffeebar Provides Locally Sourced Food

Coffeebar's Mission is to share a radically inclusive Italian cafe experience with our customers by providing them the highest quality coffee, customer service and locally sourced food. 

“If we could source one ingredient more responsibly in order to have the biggest positive impact on our local community, what would that ingredient be?”

We asked ourselves this question in late 2014. We are Coffeebar - a café - and our most important ingredient is coffee beans – not exactly a locally-sourced commodity.  But swirling around just behind our beans is our second most important ingredient: our MILK.

Each week our baristas serve up around 200 gallons worth of steamed whole milk. That’s not a small amount of dairy. This obvious realization got us thinking…there MUST be a way for us to leverage our need for milk to impact our community and strengthen our local foodshed.

Almost immediately we were turned onto a young, family owned dairy in Fallon Nevada, just an hour east of Reno. We reached out and within the week we were privileged to meet with Isidro Alves of Sandhill Dairy. He spoke passionately about the health of his cows, the nutritional vitality of his low-temperature pasteurized, non-homogenized (cream top = yum) MILK and the benefits of drinking close to the source.

It took one conversation, one steam, and one taste. That week, our second most important ingredient started arriving the same day it was milked, from 60 miles away. Talk about IMPACTFUL!  We’re paying less overall for a higher quality product, PLUS Isidro and Sandhill Dairy acquired a consistent and committed customer, while taking home 100 cents on each dollar.

So a local food system DOES exist here in the High Desert! This early success sparked more questions at Coffeebar…”If one of our most important ingredients is this simple to find locally, how else can we change our business to better support our local economy?”

Enter the Great Basin Community Food Co-op – in our opinion, the single most engaged and connected promoter and distributor of local and organic goods here in Reno. In addition, to being an independent community-owned grocery store, the Co-op serves as a regional food hub – farmers bring their food to the coop and the Co-op delivers that food to kitchens across town.

Their online marketplace, DROPP (Distributors of Regional and Organic Produce and Products), enables individuals and businesses to shop for local food that is currently in season. DROPP also provides access to organic food being grown outside of our local community via the Co-op’s organic distributors.

We found that using DROPP, not only could we easily buy tomatoes grown in Midtown at Lost City Farm, we could switch our entire kitchen to ORGANIC produce, even when none is available locally.

Again, it took one conversation, one tomato, and one taste. That week all of our produce started arriving strictly from LOCAL or ORGANIC farms. We’re paying the same amount for a dramatically superior product, and more of our money stays here in Reno, right where it belongs.

The only question left is…”What’s next?”

Say 'I Do' to a Wedding Cake from Coffeebar Bakery

Coffeebar Bakery has opened just in time for wedding season. Our talented cakemasters, Reanna Herrera and Kristy Kirsch, are eager to start pleasing grooms and brides to be with made-from-scratch wedding cakes and desserts. If you think our coffee is delicious, prepare your taste buds for something really special!

Kristy has been a pastry chef for over 16 years and worked at some of the finest bakeries in Colorado before relocating to Truckee. Reanna, after graduating from Culinary School, spent several years developing her expert cake decorating and flavoring techniques at specialty bakeries in San Diego. We are thrilled that these two talented bakers have united their culinary creativity at the Coffeebar Bakery! “We are excited to enter the specialty and wedding cake niche and offer our community a new local option,” says Kirsch.

Coffeebar Bakery offers the highest quality ingredients and sources from local farms and producers. “We can create just about anything you can dream of - from super traditional to ultramodern, or the perfect blend of both,” says Herrera. Check out our cake menu here for some scrumptious ideas. If cake isn’t your thing – ask about our other specialty pastries – dessert bars, cookies, pies and more!

“Our bakers love the challenge of exploring what our clients truly want, then using their creativity to turn those ideas into a delicious reality” says owner Greg Buchheister. “This business is all about the special details - bringing those to life makes the whole business worth doing. We are super excited to bring this new service to Truckee!”

The whole point of a cake is to eat it, right? Let us bring your vision to life and make it taste delicious too! Contact Coffeebar Bakery for an extra ordinary cake for your extra special day. info@coffeebartruckee.com (530) 587-7707.

Order Coffee Online with Ease

Coffeebar Coffee makes Waking Up Easier

Forget hitting the snooze button, you'll be jumping out of bed to hit the brew button! 

Wake up to the smell of Coffeebar’s classic Espresso blend of naturally sweet caramel tones in the comfort of your own home. You can bring Coffeebar’s C1 grade organic beans straight to your kitchen - we now offer coffee to order online!

Ordering Coffee online is perfect for the on-the-go and out-of-town Coffeebar fanatics. Head over to www.coffeebartruckee.com/store/ to order the Espresso Roast, Italian Roast or Decaffeinated Espresso Roast - starting at just $9.50.

Don’t forget to accessorize! Drinking Coffeebar Coffee out of one of our signature mugs is the perfect touch – you can order a uniquely glazed Coffeebar pottery mug online as well, created by Alanna Hughes Pottery.

Don’t have another coffee-less morning, order today! 

Giuseppe’s Spring Cellar Clearance

We have some exciting news for you, your momma’s and, most importantly, your wallets!

On Saturday, May 9th Coffeebar Reno is holding a clearance sale on a very large selection of wines. We have everything from full-bodied reds and whites, to Rose Bruts and Champagne bubbles. All of our wines are selected from small vineyards from around the world and some are organic. Being an Italian-style coffee bar, there will be a large selection of Italian wines, but a handful of others from different regions.

Here’s the skivvy…

The majority of wines are HALF OFF ranging from $10 - $20. If you want a “nicer” wine for mom, don’t be afraid to ask the Coffeebar staff to assist you in your selection. If you’re still eating Spaghetti O’s for dinner every night tell us what type of wine your mom (or yourself) prefers, and we will point you in the right direction with a less expensive choice. We love wine and we know it well!

Buy a case of wine you will receive $10 off your entire purchase! BYOB (No, Coffeebar is not having a rager… Bring your own BAG).