Boss Babe: Lynn Greetis
Continuing with my favorite series: Boss Babes! One thing I love about the blogging community is meeting incredible, strong, beautiful, courageous and wildly talented, smart, innovative, entrepreneurial boss babes, chief chicas, inspiring women. Every month, I'm going to spotlight one of these incredible role models and share a little bit about what makes them amazing.
I’m a big fan of entrepreneurial stories - hearing about how someone made a passion a business is so inspiring! I can feel my heart on fire and my brain starts turning out all these ideas after I read one. That’s what happened when I sat down with Lynn Greetis, co-founder of Maple Leaf Coffee Roasters. This one is about to light your soul on fire so keep reading!
1) You recently founded Maple Leaf Coffee Roasters. Tell us about that - how did it come about?
Funnily enough, I never drank coffee until after Alex and I started dating. He showed me how good coffee could taste! We started roasting in our kitchen in a tiny air roaster, which was fun because you can see everything that's happening, and I made him do dark roasts which always set off our smoke alarms. He upgraded our kitchen roaster so we could do bigger batches...and then about a month before our wedding, he said to me, "I think I want to do this for real." My response was..."NOW??" but, hey, why not? From there we worked to find a space, got our equipment, and I learned a ton about roasting in a short time. It was a whirlwind, and I was so glad when we actually opened the shop! It was the culmination of a pretty crazy 6 months in our lives.
2) You also work full-time as an engineer. How do you balance both careers?
Luckily, my colleagues at work have been incredibly flexible and supportive of the roasting business. I've gotten many of them hooked on our coffee! I've always been a pretty busy person, so I am used to not having much down time. Alex really is the one that is physically at the shop most often, but I love spending time there when I can because we have developed such great relationships with so many of our customers. Some weeks I find that balance better than others!
3) Did you always want to be an entrepreneur? What are the best things about entrepreneurship? What are the challenges?
I think that I've always had an independent streak, but I don't think that this is something I ever would have done without Alex! The best thing is having the freedom to make our own decisions and the fact that Alex and I are building this business together. I think the biggest challenge is knowing that at the end of the day, it's up to the two of us to make this dream a reality, and some days that just feels really overwhelming. Luckily, Alex and I balance each other out pretty well, so when one of us is freaking out about something, the other usually doesn't think it's that big of a deal!
4) What does your typical day look like?
This is tough because I never have two days that are alike! If I am at the shop, there are days that I help Alex roast, there are days that I pack bags of coffee or grind up beans, there are days that I fill up kegs of cold brew, there are days that I just get to sell coffee to people, and there are days that I sit in the shop and work on something else because it's quiet. If I am not at the shop, hopefully I'm doing something fun like riding my horses, and not something boring like doing laundry. I love the variety and the chaos!
5) What is the most impactful story or lesson from your career?
Christmas of 2018 was the first holiday season that we were open, and there was something about the fact that people came in to our shop to buy our coffee for Christmas gifts for their friends and family that really hit home with me. I love our coffee, but it was a moment where I realized that other people love our coffee, too! It was a very powerful reminder that we've come a long way from roasting in our kitchen.
6) There's a growing movement of women entrepreneurs, what is your advice to other women looking to get started owning their own business?
Just go for it! I am pretty conservative when it comes to trying new things, but this experience has shown me that bigger risks really can lead to bigger rewards. That, and lean on the people in your support network. We are so blessed to have wonderful, supportive family and friends, and I have asked them for everything from packing a bag of coffee to physically working in the shop so Alex and I could go away for a weekend!
7) Go back to college graduation: what would you tell yourself?
"Drink less Cherry Coke and more coffee!"
8) How do you find inspiration?
I have to decompress to be able to make room to be inspired. For me, that's getting out and riding my horses. Something about being outside in the sunshine just makes all my stress melt away. When I can unwind, and my mind relaxes, that's when I have the headspace for creativity!
9) Who is your role model?
I wish it was a real person, but it's probably Leslie Knope from the TV show Parks and Recreation. She's so committed to what she believes in, and most of all, she inspires everyone around her. I hope that I can have that positive of an influence on my friends and family!
Favorite self-care practice: a massage at my chiropractor's office!
Favorite workout: Orangetheory - I'm totally addicted
Favorite healthy meal: an egg white omelette and avocado toast with a Maple Leaf cold brew!
Favorite TV Show: the West Wing
Favorite phone app: ugh, how terrible is it if I admit it's Facebook?
Best way to spend a Saturday: go out to breakfast with Alex and then go ride my horses!
For more info, check out https://mapleleafroasters.com/.