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Clout Coffee Blog

Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the Iceberg

Tip of the iceberg is referred to as the smaller part of a larger unseen piece. This photo illustrates the expression well.

There are 100 sampler boxes in the photo and the amount of time and energy that are put into each piece is unseen. 

What I see though is progress. I see a dream of a growing brand coming to life. Bean by bean and box by box Clout Coffee is growing. 

We often see the tip of the iceberg in situations that we aren't closely involved with. Because we are still a small family business, my husband and children are often with me getting orders ready. Several hours went into this project. Because our weeks are often filled with other tasks we are often spending our weekends working on orders.

It isn't always a glorious time either. We bicker and argue over little things like stamping and labeling and who "gets" to do what. At the end of the day though, we know that we are all in it for the long haul. 

Today marks the end of Q1 for 2021. Overall, I'm happy with our business progress. I've got bigger plans in Q2 and throughout the rest of the year. 

Ambitious goals require an ambitious coffee. 

How did your Q1 wrap up and what's in store for Q2? How does having Clout in your cup help you #PowerYourGrind

Cheers,

Carole

 

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Published Author

Published Author

As of today, one day into being a year older, I am officially a published author. 

The title Seed Money was in my head long before the words even hit the paper. The book took a much different road than I imagined. Most of my book I shared the first 30 years of my life. 

Sometimes I think we look at success and see just the tip of it. We don't see what went into it, where it stemmed from or what it took to grow.

My childhood wasn't great. My young adult years were reactive more than proactive. I always knew I wanted more. 

More importantly, I wanted to share these stories with my children incase someday I am not able to. I have so many questions about my younger years that will go unanswered. I wanted to share my early years with my boys and encourage them to always go after their dreams. 

December is a hard month for me. In my book I share more about that. Publishing a memoir style book in the month of December is quite fitting. I wanted a victory for an otherwise hard month to get through. 

Clout Coffee stemmed from the desire to create a brand that would provide a constant revenue stream. More than that though, I wanted to create a brand that encouraged, empowered and enabled those around me to do more, be more, have more and give more. I knew though that if I was going to get behind something, I had to love it. 

Coffee is the slap on the ass to start your day. Bourbon is the liquid gold that calms, comforts and warms the soul. I brought them together to bring you more Clout in your day. 

So go out there and change the world. Coffee in one hand, bourbon in the other. You've got this. 

From Doubt to Clout

XOXO

Carole Sprunk, Author, Seed Money: From Doubt to Clout

 

Grab your digital copy here for the next 30 days for just $.99 - Please leave a review :) 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PW1NDW2/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=seed+money&qid=1607400940&sr=8-4

 

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Taking work home

Taking work home

Hi friends,

It's been quite awhile since I dropped a line to you. Many things have changed with Clout since my last post. One thing that hasn't changed is my desire to put more Clout in your cup. 

We are gearing up for online growth and working toward retail growth of all product lines in Clout. You might have come to know us as a Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee but we now also age coffee in Rum, Rye and Whisky varieties. 

At the end of last year I made the decision to write a book. A memoir to be exact. In January that adventure began. It has been a rollercoaster of a year, but I am proud to say that my book will be published at the end of this year. More on that later though. I wanted to talk about work and home life. 

Tonight, my oldest son and I were packaging up coffee that is being picked up tomorrow. My younger two boys were home after school and my husband needed to work late too. Knowing that dinner still need to be made and other household details, I packed up our boxes and stamp pad. This is something I can do from home and still make progress at work. 

After making dinner I stamped boxes while I caught up with my husband who also put in a long day at work. While also enjoying some Knob Creek bourbon too ;) 

I'm not going to lie. Building a brand while raising a family is hard. But it is worth it. 

One step at a time. Keep going. No matter what your situation is or what you need to overcome. You can start right now. 

Take your work home. Get it done. Get up tomorrow and keep grinding. 

XOXO - CS 

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A barcode the size of a shot glass?

A barcode the size of a shot glass?

Hi friends,

It's been a hot minute since I've sat down and written on my blog. We've been quite busy working to scale up to bring you more Clout. What a crazy past few months, right?!

Clout moved into new commercial space and we are slowly making progress to get up and running again. Who knew it could cost so much to install some sinks? Ha! 

As you may know, Clout is in a few grocery stores in Omaha and growing. While I've always have UPC codes because we sell on Amazon and online, I've not been able to figure out how to print the bar codes. 

Last night I finally figured it out. But when my bar code printed it was literally as tall as a shot glass. Frustrated and a few shots of bourbon later, I figured it out. And that's what it's all about. 

Start your day with Clout Coffee to "Power Your Grind" and go out there and concur something today. Make today - YOURS!

 

XOXO- CS

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New barrels coming soon - and they aren't just bourbon ;)

New barrels coming soon - and they aren't just bourbon ;)

Hi friends! 

Exciting news to share! We will soon have coffee from a Single Malt Whisky barrel from Brickway and a Templeton Rye barrel of coffee as well. Next in line after that we are back to bourbon with another local distillery in Iowa. Lonely Oak Distillery is worth a whole separate blog post because those guys are the real deal. From the corn to the final product, these guys are true to their brand! I can't wait to try their coffee. 

I look forward to expanding outside bourbon to bring you many more barrel aged coffees. 2020 is going to be a badass year for Clout and we can't wait to share it all with you! 

Cheers! 

XOXO - CS

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*Bump

*Bump

Wow! It's been a decade since a blog post. That joke is pretty much overused at this point but I am still running with it. 

A contact of mine recently emailed me and after about a week sent a follow up email kindly "bumping" the message to the top of my inbox. I thought to myself "wow, I've become that person" and not in a good way but way more ashamed than that. First, I thought, that was a really kind way to tell me to get my shit together and then I thought, when did I become that person? I used to hate waiting for responses. Now, I'm the one slacking. 

I know people who have way more going on. Yet they seem to have a better grip on it than I do. And at the same point I have people constantly tell me they aren't sure how I do it all. Well, between you, me and everyone else reading this, someday's I am not sure either. Let's call it love of the game. 

I have much bigger goals this year and it's going to take some serious game face. It's crazy to look back on the growth over the last 3 months and work to scale up. It's more than coffee to me and I can't wait to show you what I have in store. 

Tonight I finished a fun collaboration with a local retailer that brought in a private barrel pick of Four Roses bourbon. I am honored that Clout was chosen to partner with them on this pick and am thrilled at the response from the many guests tonight. 

It really takes a village and a great team of supporters around you to accomplish things. If you don't have the right team going in the right direction, it can be easy to spin. 

Here's to a year of clear vision, goals and CLOUT!

XOXO - CS

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Growing this business is barrels of fun!

Growing this business is barrels of fun!

I was recently telling another frazzled business owner to breathe and work through it. Turns out I needed to take my own advice. This is without a doubt a very busy and challenging time. I'd be busy continuing to bag coffee but I knew the website needed an update and I wanted to vent/blog a little while I enjoy a glass or 3 of red wine. Shocker I know. This bourbon gal also likes red wine. 

The growth on Amazon is spectacular. The growth at the retail locations is growing. The growth on my website is tremendous. So much so, that I had to log in and put some things out of stock so I can catch up. I also had to update everyone on barrels. When I logged in to update the site, I was on barrel 12 being "in progress". Currently, barrels 16, 17 and 18 are actually "in progress" :) 

I did a tasting at a Hy-Vee earlier this month and while the coffee was percolating in their break room, I was signing labels. I absolutely love this crazy life and I wouldn't have it any other way. Cheers, friends!

XOXO - CS

 

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Training wheels off - Roasting on our own!

Training wheels off - Roasting on our own!

Hi friends,

It's been 2 months since my last post. For weeks now I've told myself that I need to sit down and update my blog with recent happenings. We've been a bit busy coming into the holiday season! 

So many wonderful changes to tell you about! We welcomed our very first coffee roaster to the business. Black Betty is an Ambex YM-5 and she is helping us scale up our business and reduce costs. We now have our own manufacturing space in LaVista! My husband got an upgrade from CGO (Chief Grinding Officer) to CRO (Chief Roasting Officer). Meanwhile, I'm trying to manage scaling up on a budget. That part sucks, BTW.

While my husband was learning the ins and outs of roasting our coffee, he was told that at some point, he would drop the green beans without having closed the release for roasted beans. Sure enough, a few batches in and green beans dropped into the roaster and immediately into the cooling tray on top of roasted beans that were cooling. Lesson learned. I have to admit, after a long day, all I could do was laugh. Heck, if that's the biggest problem of the day, I call that a good day! 

As we go into the holiday season, I want you all to know how thankful I am for each of you. Consumers, critics, readers, supporters and even haters. I love you all. You are what push me to do more, be more and give more! 

Have an amazing week ahead!

Cheers,

xoxo - CS

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Why I do what I do

Why I do what I do

Hi friends. 

I often get told that I am "too busy" or "spread too thin" or "all over the place" 

Sometimes these comments make me laugh, other times I stew on them awhile.

Why do people say these things? Is it because they are truly concerned for you? Is it because their capacity is less than yours? These things keep me up at night. Here it is nearly midnight. I've been up since 5:30 am and it's been nonstop. I thought about going to bed then realized I should put in 5 more minutes to tell you why I do what I do. 

Because I care. Because I want everyone to win. Because I want more. Because it all matters. 

We get one shot at life. And I aim to make it memorable, shareable and enjoyable. Yes I do many things. I disagree with the concept of finding one thing and going deep. If I had went into the business making cassette tapes, I would be out of business. I want to be diverse, involved and leveraged. 

Yes I am a wife (with a pretty supportive husband). Yes I have children (#MomOfBoys). Yes I make coffee (It's pretty effing good too) Yes I publish a magazine ( 2 of them by this time next month) Yes I sell insurance (Multi Lines) 

I want to win. I want you to win. That simple. It's midnight and I am going to bed. That was a 5 minute post. 

Cheers!

XOXO - Carole

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$.90 down the drain

$.90 down the drain

I've been gone awhile. I hate to say the word but a bit: busy. Some have said I am spread a bit thin but I know that my plate is bigger than theirs ;)

I messed up a label tonight while labeling coffee. I almost cried as I threw away the label that I tried to save a second time and still messed it up further. I had to throw away a $.90 label and as I put it in the trash, I thought about the expenses that come on as a start up business. The ones you know about and the ones that sneak up on you. 

I switched website platforms and when I logged in tonight I couldn't remember how to get to a "blog post" Geesh. After some hunting around, here I am. Then I thought about how many people would have given up on their whole idea about one wrong thing in their way and remembered that my plate is more like a platter so let's do this. 

As I labeled coffee tonight I thought about the people that might enjoy this as much as I do. You see, when I wanted Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee, I actually wanted an experience. I wanted to know about the bourbons and the barrels and the business. I couldn't find it, so I created it. Batch after batch, the flavors change but my goal does not. Come along with me as we share Clout with EVERYONE!

And friends... if you have an idea... Run with it. As fast as you can, like your life depends on it. 

Cheers!

XOXO- cs

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