I live in the heart of Portland. In many ways it is a typical urban existence. We're a "car-lite" family which means for most of my trips I'm either on bike or scooter in the city which leaves our lone car (SUV) free for a family of five. Change seems to be a constant ... new buildings going up, restaurants closing and new ones coming in, more breweries and coffee shops popping up, more people moving in, more mustaches on Portland hipsters as they come of age, and more traffic whether it be car and bike.
I'm used to change and even fast change. This is a stark contrast from growing up in a small town. There change seemingly took years or even decades to notice. I'm sure it happened faster than that but maybe I simply grew accustomed to its slower pace ... like watching corn grow. We also live in a "now" society. We no longer wait for the morning newspaper because we get news instantly on our mobile devices as soon as something happens. I won't order anything now on Amazon unless it comes with 2-day Prime shipping. Binge-watching our favorite television series is now our new national pastime. Fast. Frenetic.
Sometimes we are reminded that things worthwhile were and are slow. Not only that but they took years in developing and implementing. Over the weekend I read through the latest edition of Freehub Magazine while roasting coffee. Seemingly in every magazine there's a story about an emerging mountain biking hotspot whether Rotorua, Revelstoke, Duluth, and more. The common storyline though is that it took years ... decades ... for these places to "emerge." That meant dozens ... hundreds of people spent a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and money building trails, growing the local mountain biking community, working with local and federal agencies, and so much more. There were and are always key leaders and advocates charging out in front. So when these places "pop" what we rarely notice are the decades leading up to this.
Loam Coffee is now two years old. A mere toddler. We've seen continued and sustained growth from the beginning and for that we're grateful for you. We're learning lots along the way. At the same time we're not in any rush. Even a quick glance over the media from this weekend's Sea Otter Classic revealed bike brands and other companies who we all love and support who've been around 20 ... 30 ... 40 years. We don't want to be a quick flash in the pan, but to continue the methodical planning and relentless (and mundane) work to build something that will last long after us.
Sometimes things just take a long time to build and grow ...
Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager. Photos by Grant Benesh.