Atomic Coffee Aftermath
The sudden disappearance of Atomic Coffee from the Tallahassee coffee scene has been surreal. I worked there for around two and a half years, and I feel a bit responsible for the place, since I was there from the beginning. Admittedly, I have complicated feelings about it. I have a lot I could say on the topic, but I am going to stick with one point.
No matter how you felt about the place, there were some great people who worked there, and they probably employed as many coffee people in Tallahassee as every other independent shop combined. (To catch up those who don’t have context, Atomic Coffee was a very small chain with 3 locations, started in 2013. It billed itself as “Third Wave” (take that how you like), and was one of the first places in our medium-sized town to introduce pour-over coffee, and roasters such as Counter Culture, Stumptown, and Intelligentsia. At its best, it offered a passion for awesome coffee that could be infectious.)
One of my goals in life is to help coffee become more of a profession, a sustainable career, even. Not just a part-time job for people doing other things. I realize the difficulties in this path, but I have always had a love for Quixotic quests. Anyway, the sudden evaporation of so many coffee jobs is terrible, both for the people who lost them as well as for anyone looking for a chance to get into the industry and learn more about coffee. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities in the near future.
In the short-term, I can’t do much about the lost industry opportunities (some day, though…), but I think we can do a little something to help the people who lost their jobs without warning and who may be struggling a bit. There is a campaign on Gofundme to help pay the back wages from Atomic Coffee and its sister restaurant, Tomahawk. I am currently organizing a fundraising event for that campaign, where I will get former Atomic Coffee employees to run a pop-up hand brewed coffee bar for donations, to go to the Gofundme effort. I hope you will join us, it promises to be fun, with great coffee and a good cause. Details will be made available as soon as they are definite.