So, we have been told it would help our rankings in the inter-web world if we joined the world of BLOGGING. When informed of this we both panicked at the thought of having to write an essay every couple of weeks. What could we possible have to offer to all the words being broadcast out there that would INCREASE traffic to our site? And then we thought, will people even bother to read this? That took some of the pressure off the assignment. We’ve decided to start from the beginning. Maybe you might be interested in how we got to this point. We suppose we should make introductions. We are what we have laughingly referred to ourselves as, “The Coffee Goddesses”, Jane and Gussie. You may have seen us in stick figure on our van, or mugs or greeting cards. I, Gussie, am the tall blonde one. Use your imagination. We are not new to this rodeo, we met 28 years ago working at another small coffee roaster. We learned a ton on the job there. After a year or two the coffee company went through some ownership shuffling and we threw our hats in the ring and asked if WE could buy the company. We were informed that “two girls could never run a coffee company.” Hmmmm…… we gave our notices and left. The following summer, when we weren’t piecing together work to support our rents and living expenses, we spent hours poring over numbers to put together a business plan. Way back then there was no call-waiting, or cell phones or email. To get the answers we needed we had to wait for returned calls, snail mail, or catalogs. We knew nothing of spread sheets or excel programs. All the math needed to figure out projections were painstakingly entered by hand after having been calculated by a hand-held, solar powered calculator. It was a tedious job only made more entertaining by Jane singing the answers to Gussie who then entered the data. We took advantage of SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives). We travelled up to Portland weekly to hear speakers on various business topics and to get advice on putting together our business plan. We’re not sure if they are still operating but they helped us stay on course. We had mock interviews with several bankers to test the merit of our plan. We worked with Coastal Enterprises to secure some backing for our loan. They offered a women business owners’ program that fit in well with our needs. Basically they agreed that we had a sound idea. One of the most memorable parts of the business start-up was in securing a lease for the location to set up shop BEFORE having a guaranteed loan from a bank. It was the epitome of the chicken before the egg scenario. Luckily we found Chuck and Carol Gale, in North Berwick, Maine, who agreed to gamble on our getting the funds and who wrote up a seven year lease for us to include in our plan. We had secured roughly 20% of the needed monies from family and friends. Every bank likes to see some skin in the game and that was ours. We optimistically ordered the roaster (which we still have) and started work on cleaning up the space we had signed for BEFORE the actual closing. Now that’s a good mix of confidence and some might say, naivety. It worked out, on December 19, 1994, we officially opened CarpeDiem Coffee Roasting Company, Inc. We had secured seven accounts.