I unraveled this epiphany last year, but didn’t give myself time to process or know how to construct it into words. Sometimes it’s more than just procrastination, it’s about timing. Some things need to settle and mature, can’t be rushed, takes time and reflection. Fabrice Moschetti and Jay Rooke are two people who I attribute much of my success to over the last few years, and I’ll throw in James Altucher too, because without his wonderfully frank blog and publications I would not have had the chutzpah to transform my open heart and perhaps some perturbation into digital print for all to see.
I met Jay Rooke in the beginning of 2011 after I had read an article in The Vallejo Times Herald about his plans to build and create an ambitious new dining experience with local fare at The Glen Cove Marina in Vallejo, CA. He put a call out to the community to help him name it. I couldn’t think of the perfect name, but instead emailed him a cover letter and my resume to work for his future restaurant. He invited me to interview, and we ended up talking for hours. I knew I wanted to be a part of his team immediately. He had a clear vision for his new business and a solid plan. He was instantly able to access my professional strengths and his active listening approach made me feel confident in my capabilities. He hired me on the spot as head server and my life would be forever grateful. All of us on his team at The Glen Cove Grill were instantaneously family. Jay was extremely available and approachable and set out attainable goals for each team member and gave clear direction combined with constructive and positive feedback everyday. The economy was at one of it rougher points by summer of 2011 and the specific geographical location did not do us many favors, we were very far off the beaten path. Turns out many folks who’ve lived in Vallejo their whole lives never knew this tiny marina & historic light house existed. The restaurant closed July of 2011.
Jay had helped me see my abilities, some of which I didn’t know I was capable of, but with his acknowledgment and support he was able to not only empower me to be in command and continue to see my own strengths but also see and listen to be able to access the strengths in others as well. I was always impressed with his way of pulling the best out of each member of his team. I learned to be a leader by his example and will always cherish my experience working for him and very honored to not refer to him as “my old boss”, but a great leader and good friend. The Glen Cove Grille proudly served many locally produced foods including Moschetti coffee and espresso. Jay was surprised, it being from Vallejo, that I had never heard of it. Just by simply using their coffee exclusively, Moschetti lent us a coffee grinder, coffee brewer, and espresso machine. Fabrice Moschetti showed us how to work the machines and his technical team serviced and maintained them. Fabrice was always reachable for any questions and showed me how to make the most delicious European “micro-foam” for specialty coffee drinks and latte art. I will never forget my first cup of Moschetti coffee, it was from Huehuetenango Guatemala and I indeed needed several moments alone with it. The coffee and espresso was unlike anything I had been drinking over the years and immediately reminded me of the coffee my Grandpa Don Mathesius would buy from a local cafe when I got to stay with he and my Grandma Eleanor in a little apartment in San Francisco near St. Paul’s Catholic Church when I was about ten years old.
When I got to visit the Moschetti coffee roasting facility I was blown away that more people didn’t know it existed! Another great “hidden gem” of Vallejo. But I know all too well what happens to gems that are hidden, they disappear. After The Glen Cove Grille closed I was ushered into the frighting reality of one of the highest unemployment rates in the country since The Great Depression. Freshly minted unemployed and not too long after that a divorcee and single mother. I was at a loss, but never lost hope. I started regularly attending Moschett’s weekly coffee tastings they held at their roasting facility every Saturday to learn more about coffee, drink more coffee, meet new people, and try and figure out my next move. Every Saturday Fabrice would greet me with a smile share some of his finest roast of the week and ask about how the job hunt was going. It was bleak, but I kept my chin up and kept baby steppin’ forward. One Saturday Fabrice asked me if I would be available to help assist in the office, and well the rest is history. Fabrice had no idea all the skills I had, and honestly neither did I. I made it my goal that Moschetti would no longer just be a “hidden gem” for those in the know. Fabrice Moschetti has not only been roasting coffee in South Vallejo for almost 25 years, but he is “The Man” when it comes to any and all machines. So many people within The San Francisco Bay Area coffee world scene have come to Fabrice Moschetti over the years for his vast wealth of knowledge and priceless business consulting. He humbly tells people that there is no secret, just fine green beans roasted to the specifications of each bean in small batches and delivered fresh. He has taught me everything I know about the specialty coffee world and how to run an independently owned successful business without the help of million dollar investors and invaluable press that much of the other side of The Bay Area receives.
Near the end of June 2013 I finally had the chance to sit down catch up with my old boss, mentor, and friend Jay Rooke. We had kept up through emails over the years and he has been a great source of support in all sectors of my life. Last summer he was in the process of reinventing himself and launching a new business, Jay Rooke Coaching, it made all too much sense. Having become an attorney in the State of New York then deciding to follow his passion of food by completing a degree in Culinary Arts and Culinary Management at The Institute for Culinary Education, then moving to the West Coast to fulfill his dream of owning and operating a restaurant. With such a vast technical background, drive to empower others, and on the ground experience coupled with his resilience to change and approachable demeanor, to me made something like a Life or Business Coach the perfect fit in my mind for Jay. His tagline, “What’s Your Move?” is something we all face in the game of life. We hadn’t seen each other since the last day of the restaurant. When we sat down for dinner in Napa, CA last June it was like we never skipped a beat, we were both flooded with great memories, caught up on all of life’s changes and went to work brainstorming how to help strengthen each others professional ventures. He told me he was really inspired by all my local efforts in my own community and the work I was doing for Moschetti. He told me I had to seek out and enlist my own cheerleaders. People who I can count on, who are supportive of my efforts, and are nothing but encouraging and strengthening. It took me many months to figure out the cheerleaders from the toxic-avengers, most it appears were the latter. It may have taken more moons than I’d like to admit, but I am getting there, gathered many cheers from those in my life whose intentions are to empower and improve themselves and others along the way. I was never a the pom-pom welding type, though in many ways have been many other’s cheerleader over the years, now it’s my turn to find my own human pyramid of hope for myself. What’s your move?