WHAT’s THE BIG DEAL ABOUT “HANDCRAFTED”?
We’re sort of sticklers for calling things what they are (design integrity, truth to materials, and all that), and if we’re honest, it drives us a little crazy to see formula-retail coffee/food businesses (AKA chains) marketing themselves with the term “handcrafted”… stickered all over their windows, or on expensive billboards, and even in repetitive hulu commercials.
If a coffeeshop is getting its cold brew from bags of concentrate trucked in from “corporate”, or if their espresso pours out of a vending machine at the touch of a button… that’s just not what we call handcrafted, it’s factory-style production. And that’s certainly great for consistency and economy (and growth) when you’re managing a whole bunch of locations and your customers expect the same product at whichever chain location they go to in whichever city or neighborhood they go to, but it’s not artisan-style craftmanship.
The co-opting of the language of craft is insidious. And it intentionally blurs the distinctions between shareholder-value-driven, growth-at-all-costs companies and the locally-owned and independently operated small businesses that make our communities unique and our daily lives richer.
So, we just want you to know that when we say handcrafted, we mean it… we’re local residents, back in the kitchen, cooking up our amazing caramel sauce, or chopping veggies for our cream cheese bagel-schmears or up front, behind the bar, grinding up those coffee beans by hand every day for your coffee… with our actual hands, and our hearts.
The survival of craftmanship and quality-oriented independent businesses depends on those folks who both recognize the difference and value it.