When we started this thing—I say we because nothing any of us does is solely a result of our own work, but this thing in particular has always been about the collaborative work of my community or the greater work of the coffee industry at large—I never intended for it to be what it is.
Now, nearly three years in, I’m still taken aback by what it has become. I was so ready to hang up my barista hat and start something else altogether. As it turns out, a coffee shop was just the ticket. Three shops later, we’re doing some really great work. If I ever write a book, I’ve often quipped that it would be entitled, “How I Accidentally Opened Three Coffee Shops”. Perhaps, this is one step in that direction. Time will tell.
For now, I’ve been thinking about the quickly approaching new year and looking back over the past few years. I found myself wanting to share some of my thoughts and create a space for others to do the same. So, here it is. This whole experience has led to so many unexpected adventures. We opened three coffee shops. We’ve served so many amazing people the best coffee we know how. We’ve worked alongside some incredible entrepreneurs who make beautiful and delicious things. We’ve partnered with two of those people to open a shared space called Common General which is one part cafe, one part pie kitchen, one part bean-to-bar chocolatier and one part general store. None of it has been easy and we’ve learned some hard lessons along the way—more on that soon.
We’ve done more things than I could have imagined three years ago and overcome so much, but none of it would be possible without the help, love and support of so many incredible humans. When we were trying to decide what to call the shop, we were inspired by Aristotle who said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. We knew we wanted to do something bigger than just open another coffee shop. So, when it came to creating the brand, we wanted it to point to something beyond the cup, beyond ourselves; we wanted it to be more than its individual parts. The people, the places, the coffee, the customers—all of these—are so much greater than any one piece would be alone. We believe in this thing because you’re a part of it.
Plus Coffee is really just about you and whatever adventures you get into. We hope the coffee we make can be a companion on your journey; It’s an added bonus in the story you’re living out every day. To that end, I hope this little piece of the internet can be a space for me to share some of my story, most of which will probably be about Plus Coffee and the things we have done and will do as we try to grow our business and create a culture of working to make good things and serve people well. But I hope this will also become a place where others—maybe some of you—can share their stories.
I truly believe that this thing we’re building, the work we do and all of you are greater than any of us knows. This life in all of its complexity and chaos is so much more than the sum of its parts. By the way, I really love plays on words. So, you might say some great thing or person is more than some. This blog is about sharing the great things and people we have witnessed with all of you. This is More Than Sum. Stay tuned...
Matt E. Park
Founder + Owner
PLUS COFFEE | CHATTANOOGA, TN