I had to start as a coffee packager - entry level position - even though I had already done a lot of roasting and had extensive cupping and buying experience - back in '84 and it was worth it to me for the opportunity. But Jerry had heard a bit about me and came up to me on one of my first days and said "look you're new so you have fresh eyes. We really do want to have the best coffee in the world and you can help be part of that by letting me know about anything we can be doing better, and also, especially, if there's any area you learn of where we aren't walking our talk when it comes to quality." That was a pretty unforgettable way to start out.
And then his other mantra: "is it as good as the coffee?" From the mugs we sold, to the marketing materials, to the way we treated each other, to the store environment and customer service that was to be the yardstick. I mean the employment application for the retail stores included having to describe the best meal you ever ate and the best coffee you ever drank!