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Building an Entreployee Culture From the Ground Up

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)


A Cup of Common Wealth is not your average café. A pay-it-forward wall composed of coffee sleeves offers free drinks for a medley of potential customers—an iced latte for an Alaskan traveler, a smoothie for anyone who has chemotherapy, and a drink of choice for a pilot. A mug full of change for parking meters hangs outside of the shop. If you’re having a bad day and the café finds out about it, they may very well up and deliver you a coffee.


“You walk into the shop and it’s like a different universe,” says owner and founder Salvador Sanchez. This alternate universe includes a local art program, semi-monthly coffee class sessions, a newsletter, and non-profit days, where a chosen non-profit is brought in to educate customers about what they do and take home 10 percent of the day’s sales.

Immersive Training


A Cup of Common Wealth’s distinctive flavor begins with its four-step hiring process, one in which the café’s staff plays a decisive role: five employees are required to sign off on any new hire, and their decision is final. Once hired, the employee is guided through a 75-to-90-hour training program embracing everything from coffee education and different pours to wider business principles and the central importance of customer service.


“Every employee knows they are empowered to make every customer’s time in the shop a memorable experience.


— Salvador Sanchez, Owner, A Cup of Common Wealth


This training gives employees the tools to participate in aspects of the business that go well beyond their work at the coffee bar. In fact, many of the café’s initiatives—acquiring a food truck and roaster, expanding into the night market, launching its featured drink, bottled cold brew, and brewshine programs—percolated up as barista initiatives.