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Big Announcement – I’m Headed to Kaldi’s Coffee

I am elated to announce that I have joined Kaldi’s Coffee as their new Marketing Director. This is a newly created position that will have me creating and implementing marketing strategies, monitoring and posting on social media, and finding ways to sell more coffee (especially online). I’m thrilled to join the organization, while having mixed feelings about leaving Falk Harrison (see the end of the post for an explanation on that).

I’ve previously shared information regarding my move from the accounting world to the marketing world, and people seemed interested in the details. So I thought I’d share some information this time, as well. Why did I make this move? Here are three reasons:

1. I want to get my hands dirty with the work. My responsibilities will have me plotting and implementing strategy almost 100% of the time. I’m a student of new media and still have much to learn (and always will). If I come up with an interesting idea I want to try, I won’t have to find a company willing to let me implement it. As long as it’s not too crazy, Kaldi’s will let me try it. This means I won’t be spending time convincing companies that doing social media and new media is a good idea.

2. The people – I’ve known folks from Kaldi’s for several years and have made many friends. I predict we’re going to get along quite well. In talking with Josh Ferguson, he stressed the importance of family – the family we work with, and the family we have at home. With a wife and two young daughters, I want to be able to be there for them. I want to make it to the recitals, pick them up from school every once in awhile. Kaldi’s made it clear that I’d be able to do so, in exchange for getting the work done.

3. The subject matter – I love coffee. I’m a 365-days-a-year coffee drinker. I’m a hot mess without coffee. It’s terrible, but it’s so awesome because coffee in the morning is a pleasure. It’s going to be easy to wake up every day and be excited about my work, and I should be able to find the inspiration to tell the Kaldis’ story. During my agency life, when a client would express concern to me that no one would care about what they were saying on social media due to their staid or boring product, I’d say, “Look, we’re not selling tombstones here.” That jarring example usually got them back in the right mindset. Well, same thing here – I won’t have to gin myself up to talk about or search for a story angle on coffee. I’m a big fan of coffee – I think this is going to make a difference.

So those are some of my reasons for joining Kaldi’s. I can say that none of this speaks negatively towards Falk Harrison. In fact, we’ve decided that I may still be able to help out. So we came to an arrangement where I’ll be able to help Falk Harrison clients with some social media consulting. I had mixed emotions about leaving our great clients, and now I’ll get a chance to continue to help out here and there. Jon Falk was easy to work with as we constructed this arrangement, and I look forward to helping out.

At Kaldi’s, we announced my hiring on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, and a huge outpouring of support had me sitting at the computer all day. So many tweets and Facebook posts and messages and … I just want all of you to know that I appreciate your support and encouragement. And yes, self-motivation is a great thing to have, but so are friends like Micah:

It’s time to get to work!

Full disclosure: if you’re thirsty for coffee, go here immediately! Operators are standing by, so to speak. ($2.95 flat rate shipping up to $50, free shipping after that).

  • mikeziegler

    Solid reasons, Chris. I know from personal experience (for the unaware: I used to split my time working in Kaldi’s cafes while handling & coordinating a fraction of what I expect Chris to do with marketing at Kaldi’s) that #2 was likely the deal sealer.

    Even after leaving Kaldi’s, which was no light decision (especially given their fantastic growth this year alone), I continue to feel a part of the Kaldi’s family back as a regular customer. Josh (and Tricia) appreciated and listened my ideas from an early point in my time at Kaldi’s, which says a lot about their leadership. They allowed me to create something of my own at Kaldi’s and I can say with almost certainty I wouldn’t be where I am career and personal growth wise today without their trust.

    Everyone at Kaldi’s has passion about their respective jobs. It’s simply a fun place to work and grow.

    Best wishes with the new gig. I, too, have high expectations.