We, at the Buena Vista Roastery, home of Bongo Billy’s Coffees, make every effort to maximize the effectiveness of what we do and what we practice so that what we do is simultaneously socially, economically and environmentally sound. This takes a lot of work and a lot of changing paradigms around us. The road is long and there are many bumps, but we are doing all we can.
We use Holistic Management as a framework for our decision-making and to model our guiding principles, including the Holistic Financial Planning process. We also integrate a strategic planning mechanism based on the same materials that once tracked troop movements in the African War, later turned into holistic planned grazing documents. Also, we work with a monitoring strategy based on a Cuban model of sustainability.
We are creating new models for business, including coffee roasters. We strive to be a regenerative business, utilizing organics, fair trade, rain forest certified product, as well as working to strengthen our own local community.
Our Whole Under Management
Those making the day-to-day decisions at the Buena Vista Roastery are Joel and Laurie, the staff, and the roasters, all whom package product, sell and deliver product and do our bookkeeping.
The money available to us to conduct business appropriately is in the bank, derived from sales of coffees, teas, chocolates, baked goods and other products, available through loans and credit, and through outside investment
Our resources to carry out sound business practices within a healthy working environment include the equipment needed to roast, bag and deliver product, green coffees, our vendors and suppliers, the people and money, organic and Fair Trade inspectors and certifiers, our rented space and the landlords, our customers, our licensees, community members, community events, the Town of Buena Vista, SCAA and other coffee organizations.
Our Holistic Context
Quality of Life
Since so much of our time will be spent at or involved with the Roastery, how do we want our lives to be?
We want to be organized, with efficient processes in place.
We want to be managed holistically and source the highest environmentally, socially and economically sound products in the world.
We want balance of time and activity with our families.
Community is a priority. It is important to us to be a presence in Buena Vista and Chaffee County. We help other people who carry our products succeed as best we can.
We give to charitable and civic events.
Our relationships are good, productive and healthy
We are healthy people, mentally and physically.
Our work environment is comfortable and well-organized, set up for delivering our products effectively and efficiency.
We have fun.
We have a culture of creativity and a steady internal entrepreneurial capacity.
We have healthy, positive communication between all and about all.
We want financial prosperity for everyone at the Roastery.
We want diversification of our products and our customer base.
Quality product is our priority.
Principles of Permaculture apply to the business in all aspects.
We continually seek ways to offset our environmental impacts.
We strive to be the most environmentally sound company, understanding that this comes with balance of the economic and social.
We have a positive impact on our local environment.
We want to work with producers to help them with their agricultural and business practices, including cultivation, pesticide application, harvest, cooperative arrangements, accounting, marketing, etc.
Our work environment is healthy, including the air we breathe and the water we drink and use in our coffee.
Forms of Production
In order to produce this quality of life, we must maintain healthy relationships internally and with our wholesale and retail clients, licensees, vendors and community.
We act out of integrity.
We create avenues for communication and to regularly get together as a staff.
All of our interactions are best done face-to-face, with customers and internally. Every customer is a priority.
We must know and help others to know the story behind every producer.
We must generate profit and use that profit to feed back into the business and community for our environmental and community development initiatives
We have to balance small batch specialty needs/demands in work and labor with the increased demands of being nationally recognized roasters.
Future Resource Base
We source beans from land that is managed in a regenerative way, including ways that support local farmers and local environment. Crops are grown in diverse ecological communities. Creeks and rivers must flow clean and air must be fresh. Our aquifer is replenished.
Customers perceive us as punctual, efficient, knowledgeable and aware.
We are financially independent and can use any surplus to help develop our local and greater community in smart, sustainable ways. We are examples to the community.
Our roasting environment is consistent in temperature and humidity. Staff is well balanced and each individual can perform multiple functions within the business.
Guiding Principles in Decision-Making
These would be questions through which to pass potential actions/directions/clients/marketing etc toward our holistic context. If they generally pass these questions, we can go forward with a fair degree of certainty, acknowledging that we cannot account for every possible variable.
- Is the proposed action in reaction to something? If so, what? Does it address the root cause of whatever we are reacting to?
- Will this enhance, or degrade the overall natural, social and economic resources that we need in the future to sustain our desired quality of life at the Roastery?
- Will this negatively affect the quality of life of others? Will this so offend others that we will stop progress toward our holistic context?
- If you have to chose between various options for action, which will take you toward the holistic context most effectively?
- What is the source and use of energy needed for this action, if any? Is it the best fit for our holistic context?
- What is the source and use of money needed for this action? Is it the best fit for our holistic context?
- If this is a new enterprise, what is the potential gross profit and how does it compare to other enterprises we have?
- If we plan to spend money, will we be channeling our resources in the way that we presently need most as a town: 1) Capitalizing on/enhancing staff’s capabilities and/or our current resources 2) Enhancing our product and product base as the Roastery, or 3) actually marketing ourselves to potential Internet customers, walk ins, wholesale customers, etc for the Buena Vista Roastery (we may need to split these, depending)
- Now that you’ve answered the other questions will this particular action take us toward or away from our holistic context?