Last summer Distinctly Northwest Magazine went through a time of transition and rebranding, and we decided to highlight and celebrate the businesses that serve our region with excellence. We went on the hunt for members of our Southern Oregon community who were doing interesting things in unique ways. They all exhibited the kind of “can do” spirit that is so prevalent in the Rogue Valley. It has been an incredible year for our little publication, and we have enjoyed getting to know our neighbors by listening to what they love and where they shop, visit and eat.
In June of 2019 when we were looking for a good cover story, we stumbled upon a new little coffee shop in Medford. This former Texaco station had been transformed into a light and bright space, where delicious pastries and amazing coffee were served up in style, alongside an assortment of beautiful plants. A place where we could buy plants and coffee? We were hooked.
A year later we checked back in with the boys over at Forage Coffee Company to find out what they’ve learned and what they still love about serving up delicious coffee to their neighbors. Jacob Terando and Mason Faulconer are still working their tails off, and they still have smiles on their faces. They must be doing something right! We were intrigued, so we sat down and asked Jacob a few questions.
DNW: What have you learned over the past year?
Jacob: Partnerships can be hard…unless you make it easy. What I mean by this is that, for us, the partnership has been hard at times and very easy at times. The key to success is communication and respect. The key to hardship and frustration is miscommunication and lack of respect. Every time we start to think that the other is less important or less valuable we run into strife. We, however, have never had any problems ever because we love each other so, so, so much!
DNW: So what would you have done differently, if you were given the chance?
Jacob: Basically everything except for all of it. For Forage it was a “Is that gonna work? I don’t know, let’s try it anyway!” kind of operation. Having little to no idea what we were doing allowed us to “break all the rules” of what it means to run a successful business.
However, we have learned to do the conventionally wise, dutiful aspects of running a business (bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, spreadsheets etc.) that have allowed our uniqueness to shine even brighter because we now have the proper business acumen. So we would have done a lot differently, but the experience and wisdom we gain by failing and making mistakes is so cherished that I probably wouldn’t change how it all happened.
DNW: What do you think you did right? What are you proud of?
Jacob: For us the proof is in the pudding…or the coffee. We serve an excellent product, have a great atmosphere, and have incredible employees. We have wonderful relationships with people in the community and we love what we do.
But anyone can do that really. What we really did right is try. We gave this place everything, literal blood sweat and tears and also allllll of our time. It is our baby…we love it…so what we did right was love and care for our baby.
To learn more about Forage Coffee Company, you can find them on social media or visit their website at www.foragecoffeeco.com.