Discovering Coffee for the First Time

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

When it came to coffee, Jess and I hated it!

Blue Bottle Coffee Venice Beach

This is a photo of THE FIRST PLACE WE ENJOYED BLACK COFFEE. We were about to be living in California for 9 months doing a Bible school and our good friend Danny was showing us some of the areas around where we would be staying. We were walking along Venice beach enjoying the abundance of people to watch when Danny asked if we wanted some coffee. Neither one of us was down to buy something we didn't enjoy but we humoured him and went along to a Blue Bottle Coffee location (which we would later learn was a big deal in Southern California). He got his coffee black from a fancy looking device and asked if we wanted to try it, we were hesitant but he insisted it tasted like blueberries. This was in 2013 and it was the beginning of an Alice in Wonderland or Matrix like experience. Our eyes were opened.

From 2013 - 2020

The next seven years were a crazy coffee journey for the two of us. While in L.A. we got to know a bunch of the local coffee spots and started to learn what we liked and didn't like as much in a cup of coffee. We then moved to Kamloops, B.C. where I worked at a cafe called Reservoir near the university and got my first taste of a customer service job behind an espresso machine (it was awesome). While in Kamloops from 2014-2016 Jess and I started to dream of doing what we loved, connecting with people, doing excellent work, and working in coffee. We had originally wanted to open a physical coffee shop but after looking at a few locations and doing some math it was a bit more than we had hoped for. Once we decided we were committed to starting a coffee business (we already knew the name would be Merci Coffee) we wanted to live somewhere abroad before locking ourselves in and making the investment that comes with opening an independent business. We settled on Belfast, Northern Ireland where we had a good friend named Kirsty and after a month of figuring out bank accounts, visas, housing, and jobs we found ourselves both working at one of the most recognized specialty cafes in all of Ireland (General Merchants). We lived in Belfast almost 2 years and it was amazing! We learned so much about coffee, running a small business, serving our local community, and decided we wanted to do a coffee truck! Back in Canada from 2018-2019 we started planning, planning, stressing, finding peace, and planning some more. So 2020, not quite what the world expected so far but we are so excited for what this crazy year will bring for Chilliwack Specialty Coffee and this Merci Coffee Truck.

Love, Matt + Jess

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