Cat & Cloud
Time for us to revisit Cat & Cloud, who now not only has a recently opened Santa Cruz café of their own, but is also this month’s resident roaster at La Marzocco’s cafe in Seattle.
Ray: I’m Ray.
Kandace: I’m Kandace.
Ray: Welcome to Unpacking Coffee. This week …
Kandace: Once again, Cat and Cloud …
Ray: We’re revisiting them because they are residents at the La Marzocco Café.
Kandace: Yeah! We wanna’ do this legit.
Ray: Legit, that’s my middle name.
Kandace: So, who is Cat and Cloud?
Meet Jared & Chris
Jared: My name is Jared Truby and I’m a co-owner along with my friend Chris Baca and Charles Jack (who is not with us) at Cat and Cloud Coffee.
Chris: Oh man, I drank coffee forever. My first coffee job was a local coffee shop down the street from the house where I grew up in. I had hurt my back really bad I had back surgery when I was 21.
I was working at a skate shop at the time and I didn’t want to go back to work at the skate shop when I could work again because it was super depressing for me. My friend Matt was like: hey, why don’t you come down to the coffee shop? You hang out there all the time anyway, you drink a lot of coffee, let’s get you a job. So I did and then it was over. Done.
Jared: Boom. Got right into coffee.
Chris: Got right into that espresso porto filter and I extracted it.
Jared: Full of filters.
Chris: 58% extraction. Is that even possible?
Jared: My dad loved coffee and my grandparents used to drink it and I liked the smell and then I got back from college and I decided to stop going to private college on scholarship and move back to Chico, California.
Chris: Scholarship, baby! Make that money.
Jared: I never finished. So, I came home and I had nothing to do so I worked at a coffee shop that my dad opened. He was trained by Dillanos, I believe, back in the day.
Chris: The big D.
Jared: Yeah! I didn’t know is that was a coffee at the time. He told me far later and I was “Oh yeah, I heard of them.” So, I started making coffee with my dad and then, the rest is history. Just really love the beans. Kenya-Double-A.
Chris: End game. A A. Someone asked us that yesterday” What grade is the Kenyan?
Jared: “The right grade” is always the answer.
Chris: Fucking A+, dude.
Kandace: I think they started working together by blogging about their ideas of coffee and it kind of grew from there. They got started in about 2010.
Chris: 2010 is when Jared and I started writing a blog together, we started working together around that time and we always had really interesting ideas about how things should be done. We really like coffee, and nobody else fucking makes good coffee, so we’re like we’re gonna be the only good coffee company out there.
The Happy Café
Kandace: Do you want to hear some of the things they’re doing at their café?
Ray: Kandace, I’d love to!
Kandace: So, their café is all about being a happy place. They have toast, they’ll make you whatever drink you want.
Chris: Dude, the café has got like 6 doors, lots of windows …
Jared: …roaster, 13 employees…
Chris: 13 employees. No, our café is sick. It’s …
Jared: Come on down.
Chris: A tiny little space, we’re about a block from the beach, couple blocks from the beach.
Jared: Very light
Chris: It’s a very open place, there’s a lot of sunlight. It’s a very friendly place. It’s a place where anybody can go and feel welcome.
Our goal in the café, we say, you know, if someone leaves happier than when they came in, we’ve done our job. So, that extends to people who are getting coffee, maybe are getting tea, maybe you just come in off the street and want a glass of water.
Maybe, if you’re lost in Santa Cruz and you’re like: “Dude how do I find the water?”
We’re like, “dude just go that way, over there.”
“Man, you guys are real nice! That’s cool!”
Kandace: They’ve got a lot of interesting ideas about how to run a café and how to motivate their team.
Jared: Well, one thing we just did at our most recent staff meeting is we showed them our entire financials, literally; as far as where we started, how much money we had, how much money we made, exactly where it went, including every single department, and broke it down.
Sweet Flavor Dude
Kandace: They don’t have a lot of coffees but they do have a very distinct flavor that they’re looking for. And it might be a little bit different than what you’re expecting. But, they do talk about what they’re looking for in coffee flavors.
Jared: Our taste, for us, see here’s the thing about coffee” everybody’s got their palates and they never line up unless you work together for a number of years.
So, what Chris and I would probably say is we love coffee that’s very sweet, which is true, we love coffee that has a great finish, which is also true. And, we like complexity. And, our coffees tend to be a little bit fruity and juicy. However, you go and taste these alongside somebody else from another company and who knows if they’d 100% agree with us, so.
Kandace: They’ve got a milkshake, because you know, Seattle.
Ray: They’ve got a milkshake?
Kandace: In Seattle they do.
Kandace: Would you like to talk about this bag design?
Ray: One thing that I do like about the bag is the playful typography and the contrasting colors. It is very distinctive yet very simple.
Kandace: Well, I mean, this is a pretty simple bag, right? It is a bag with a label.
But, the fact that they’ve been able to use color and some illustration and typography to give it a really unique look and feel, tells you that you can have some pretty cool packaging without necessarily needing to … Have everything be super expensive or super fancy.
Ray: I like that they wrote on the box, I think that’s the cat and that’s the cloud.
Kandace: Also they’ve got a great podcast …
Ray: Okay we’re going to break this out and cut into the regular pod cast.
Ray: Cat and Cloud.
Kandace: Santa Cruz, California.