Success Stories & Testimonials
Aaron Olsen & Kim Anderson
Handlebar Coffee Roasters
We attended the October 2010 barista training class and coincidentally opened handlebar Nov 1st, 2011 (more or less 1 year later).
We were both professional cyclists, Kim having won the Women's Tour de Feminine (Tour de France for women) in 2009 and myself riding 2 times in the Tour of Italy. We have passion for great coffee and had spent the past couple years taking ideas from Europe, the SF Bay area and Portland for the interior design.
We spent 3 1/2 months doing most of the work ourselves, using reclaimed wood, of which our countertops came from the 2x6 studs that we saved from tearing down the wall which now has all the windows to the exterior patio seating. We are in a great little locals corner, a well established spot in Santa Barbara, with businesses of 25 and 30 years respectfully surrounding us. Our location is in a densely populated business district and has residential apartments above the store front below.
We roast on a Probat L12, use a La Marzocco FB-80 3 group machine, have Robur E grinders, and the Mahlkonig Guatemala grinder.
Best put, ABC helped us gain a better understand of specialty coffee, we already had the passion and drive to do our best, ABC helped give us the basic tools, knowledge and understanding of how to put it all together. Without ABC, we wouldn't have had the skill-set to be ready for all that happens when the doors are open. Everyday is learning for us, and that is a good thing.
Santa Barbara, CA
Best thing we could of ever done for the business was to attend your week long school to have a better understanding of all that goes into great coffee, how to prepare it, serve it and for that and everything else ABC has done for us, we are truly grateful.
Handlebar coffee roasters has hit the ground running since opening Nov. 1st, 2011 and we owe a lot of our success so far to you and everyone whom has helped us out at the American Barista & Coffee School.
Remedy coffee is a small coffee shop in the Trendy Temescal Distinct of Oakland CA. We serve coffee from Ritual Coffee roasters in San Francisco and teas from Teance in Berkeley, ca. We also make our own baked goods and do a limited brunch on the weekends. We have sidewalk seating and a garden patio, free wifi and a monthly art shows of local artists.
ABCs was an extremely valuable recourse for us to get open and run a quality coffee café. Everything learned there was to our advantage from the basics of small business, to the writing the business plan and the barista training. ABCs gave us the added vision to have a coffee shop on a level that is above our competition as well as developing a love for the specialty coffee industry. I am very grateful for my friends at ABCs and all I have learned there.
Our concept is a marriage of everything we are passionate about- coffee, food, and wine. We often get asked how we came up with the name Press. It was easy- Coffee French Press, Panini Press, Wine Press, and my job working in TV broadcasting, Media Press. Less than a year later, we expanded our company with Press Coffee Roasters by freshly roasting our own coffee beans daily.
I attended ABC in August of 2008 with intention of truly understanding coffee, the business aspect and of course the education and understanding of being a “true” barista. I wasn’t clear as to what I would take away from ABC, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I did. There were still days after a few years where I’d still reference the books they gave me or the notes I took. ABC has and will always earn my respect for what they do professionally and personally. I still see Matt and Bruce at trade shows and they always make it a point to say hello, this truly is a long term relationship going forward. As an individual in the industry, I would recommend ABC indefinitely.
Opening 3rd location soon in Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix
Bitter + Sweet
Bitter+Sweet was launched in July 2011 by Janice Chua with the mission of serving the best coffee and desserts in the South Bay community. Janice, an ex-banker of 17 years, wanted to create a café for members of the community to come hang out and enjoy great coffee and food. At Bitter+Sweet, her team of talented baristas will serve customers expertly prepared espresso and coffee drinks, using fresh beans from Sightglass Coffee. Customers will notice that her shop has a rather unique look to it. Its modern sleek with clean architectural lines.
I attended ABCs in May 2010. ABCs has helped in so many ways, including:
i) Understanding the importance of a good business plan - The Cupertino Economic Development Manager was so impressed with my business plan and concept presentation that she told many people that the business plan was the best one they had ever seen! The business plan, which was written with ABCs' help, was integral to my business' success.
ii) Learning all about espresso and coffee - at the school, I learned the basics of espresso and coffee preparation. I remember very clearly the exercise we went through before we started the session on "The Perfect Shot".....I had a eureka moment when I tasted the espresso that was pulled perfectly, "so, that's what espresso is supposed to taste like!" With a ton of hands-on practice time at the school, I was able to gain enough confidence to prepare espresso drinks on my own. And to think that I had ZERO coffee experience when I stepped into ABCs. Now, at my own shop, my staff knows that I am the one who can dial in great shots.
iii) Having the opportunity to work with so many pieces of great equipment at the school - the school allowed me to try out the various makes and models of espresso machines, and helped me decide very early on in my planning process as to which machines I was going to purchase. Seriously, where else can you work on 10+ different types of espresso machines in one sitting?
iv) Getting all the tips from the pros (Bruce, Matt and company) on what to focus on:
- need to set myself apart from the chain stores....I think I have done very well in this area as my store has a truly unique feel and ambience. It's a HUGE differentiating factor for us, and is what draws customers in.
Mark and Joey Trujillo
The Hub Coffee Co.
Owners: Mark and Joey Trujillo, and Jessica Devine (Father, son, and daughter!)
Papa Mark is a graduate of ABCs, having attended the barista school in 2006. Our company at the time, Walden’s Coffeehouse, proved a wonderful spot to begin to introduce specialty coffee á la Portland/Seattle/etc. to our community. ABCs introduced us to the graceful “dance of the barista”, instructing us in careful technique and instilling in us a proper understanding of the various aspects of working in the coffee industry. ABCs gave us all the necessary tools to craft tasty coffee beverages in a traditional manner, while still promoting the artisanal, progressive edge inherent in the emerging “third wave” coffee culture.
We’ve since built up our own small craft coffee company in Reno: The Hub Coffee Co. Since first opening in June 2009, throwing open our tiny roll-up garage door at 32 Cheney St., just south of downtown Reno, The Hub has become a friendly, inviting community gathering place complete with (what else?) tasty traditional espresso drinks and coffee.
As of Fall 2011, we’ve begun roasting our own coffee here in Reno. Out of yet another small garage space not far from Hub One, we roast specialty grade coffees for our café locations, as well as a number of small accounts throughout town.
Were it not for ABCs providing us with our training wheels and a loving push in the right direction, we might never have made it to the top of the big hill! Thanks ABCs!
Our most recent addition to Reno’s independent scene is a new coffee cart in the Nevada Discover Museum, located in downtown Reno. This new location (albeit tiny), along with our foray into coffee roasting, is in our opinion a testament to the rewards to be had after a tireless pursuit of knowledge and constant practice of quality coffee service.
"I had a great experience in the ABC's workshop. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable about their craft, and all of the questions I asked them were answered to the best of their ability, with an unbiased opinion. The equipment available for use was top-notch and well maintained. The Milletto’s also treated us to lunch everyday at some of Portland’s top restaurants."
- Eric M. | | Egg Harbor Township, NJ
"As an existing business owner this course gave me specific places to improve my business. I feel that I now have the skills and foundation to serve high quality coffee in my shop, as well as train my employees to be able to maximize our customer satisfaction."
- Maggie D. | | Ft Collins, CO
"Before attending ABC's, I couldn't even tell you what a Barista was. I've been in the service industry my whole life, so I feel confident I'll be able to serve and anticipate my customer's needs and make them happy so that they will want to return. Coffee is going to be a huge part of our business, so just being in Portland really opened my eyes to the size of this industry. ABC's really goes above and beyond, giving people the tools and knowledge they need to go home with the confidence to succeed. It's all about quality, and that's personally what we are looking for in our business. We want to have the best coffee in town, and I feel now with the help of ABC's, we will."
- Steven T. | | Pensacola FL
"The ABC's workshop I attended was amazing. For someone who knows little about coffee and the coffee business, ABC's, in a short amount of time, gives you all the tools and knowledge of the trade...plus more. If you also want to see the heart of Portland, Oregon, I recommend this workshop as well."
- Chad B. | | Virginia Beach, VA
"Wow! The workshop I took at ABC's blew my mind. When I arrived, I didn't know what to expect. I was already a coffee lover, but as the workshop went on, I fell more deeply in love. I learned the importance of technique and that every drink I make must be perfect. ABC's demands excellence from its attendees and stresses the all important saying, "Success is in the details."
- Branden M. | | Milton PA
"Wow! Who knew there was so much to know about coffee? Coming in as a green bean, not really knowing much about coffee, I was blown away by the vastness that is the coffee industry. I learned so much. I now consider myself a light-medium roast bean, and I look forward to continuing my education on coffee and becoming…a French roast! ABC’s gives you a vast amount of information, imparted by highly skilled instructors, accompanied by a sense of professionalism and completeness."
- Petra B. | | Inglewood, CA