It’s 5:25am on Friday morning, and the temperature reads as 26, feels like 18.
After a brief fuel stop and minor traffic deterrence through the Lincoln Tunnel, we are in the Financial District of New York City. Our first stop has security so tight, that our order contact has to come outside in the freezing temperatures to tell the (new) guard to please let him through with their coffee.
The coffee boxes have to go through a security clearing conveyor belt and any personnel must be wanded to allow entrance through a freight elevator and double door to drop off some Artisan French Roast into the downstairs kitchen.
It is now 7:42am, the sun has come up over the gorgeous skyline and the drop off is through a GPO account, where Joe stops two, sometimes three times a week. The chef says he wishes every delivery guy was like Joe!
We make several stops to potentially open new accounts, check on loyal customers stock and have a quick bite (complimentary for their favorite Farmer Brothers Coffee Delivery Man!)
By 9:33am, coffee has made its way into Brooklyn. Joe has made several other stops, double parking, jumping over icy snow, dropping off coffee and tea, and collecting payments. Navigating through terrible drivers and tight turns seem like his biggest challenge! Sometimes there is barely enough room to squeeze through the cars on either side of the street.
It is now 11:35am. We have visited several accounts that order on demand, but Joe has anticipated their needs enough to stock everything they may request so that it’s already on the truck. He has also fielded several customer phone calls asking to be squeezed into a delivery schedule earlier than normal and Joe accommodates them all. We head back towards Manhattan and across the Williamsburg bridge for a lunch stop.
It’s a half day for Joe, only about a dozen stops out of a normal 25-30, since he has doubled up earlier in the week. But he still has to recount the day back at the branch, log all the receipts, and make a deposit.
After being in the business 17 years, there is nowhere he would rather be than behind the wheel of a Farmer Brothers step-van delivering the best coffee in the business. Thank you Joe, for your years of dedicated service, and today, for letting me tag along with you in the crazy comfortable jump seat all day – what an experience!
By Jennifer Schoenherz