End of year wrap up - 2021
Hi family, it has been a while since we have written to you personally. Those of you who joined in on Tectonic’s story when COVID first hit, remember that we used to write letters every week about life as a small business.
We thought we would re-connect and give you an update on this past year.
On January 15th after a miscarriage and two years of trying, my wife Chelsea and I found out we were pregnant! Whoa, what a place to start! We were so lucky to have this celebration during such a difficult time. Truly we could end the wrap up here as introducing our baby boy into the world has been a lovely life changing experience.
Bowie David Derek Pigot was born September 8th at 2:45am and our life as we knew it changed forever, for the better.
On the back of the news that we were pregnant, we started planning our paternity and maternity leave. I like to refer to Tectonic as a large freight liner in a vast ocean and when we make course corrections it takes time for the ship to be corrected. You see, we roast in a co-op and do all our weekly production on one day a week. This means that change that would normally take any other business maybe a week to implement takes us 5 weeks.
It is something that we have learned to manage through the years. We get hundreds of orders per week and a production staff of 9 to 10 people working two shifts for a total of 12 hours on Sunday. It really takes a team to get those packages out the door not only to our home brewers but to our wholesale partners as well. We owe a lot to our team and thank those who have stayed on all year long as well as those who have dropped in to help out even if only for a little while.
We hired key members of staff early in the year anticipating a reemerging economy only to be hit by a 3rd wave caused by the Delta variant. Small business owners were really hit hard with this spike as their bandwidth was full and even simple decisions were paralyzing. It would take a good 6 months until we would see any growth at all and start creating new wholesale relationships.
Staffing shortages were everywhere and cafe owners were shortening their trading hours to cope and pushed again to to-go orders only. All of this meant that revenue was down for them, which meant volumes dropped again us. We ourselves found an ever carousel of staff coming in and out of our business, no hard feelings just a reality of the times.
Once we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel and as COVID cases started to drop we ran into supply chain woes. After spending a week in the hospital with Chelsea while she was giving birth, I came back to an inbox flooded with every supplier alerting us of an 8 to 14% price increase. Every single one. It left us and most of our customers with the hardest decision every business owner has to make and that is to raise our prices.
If you want to read more about the supply chain issues wholesalers and cafe owners had to deal with see our blog post called Cafe owner you’re probably undercharging your customers.
Our Face masks for Honduras initiative finally saw it’s lofty goals realized and face masks were distributed to the school children and farmers. If you want to learn more about our Honduras project read HERE.
We did not host a Thought Session in 2021 but we hope to continue in 2022 if COVID allows.
With your help, Tectonic did bounce back. We are not quite at our 2019 numbers but we sure are damn close. We go into the new year, unfortunately deep in yet another COVID spike, but filled with optimism that with hard work and delicious coffee we can build on 2021 and surpass our 2019 numbers.
Chelsea and I are so thankful that our small but mighty company is weathering a once in a century pandemic. Tectonic Coffee is providing for our new family, putting a roof over our heads and contributing to 12 staff members' livelihoods.
We hope you have a safe new years celebration and that 2022 is collectively a year where things get better for all of us.
Thank you for supporting our small business.
Deaton, Chelsea, Bowie Pigot and Team Tectonic