“Here’s to all the people who remain unharmed because I have coffee and a sense of humour.”
-Me: 9 days out of 10
Hi and welcome to Bear Essentials, my name’s Rich Gardner but nowadays most folks just call me Bear. Back in 2015 I began to suffer from a complex medical condition which causes me to suffer regular episodes of whole body paralysis, as a result, I eventually had to accept that I would no longer be able to work conventionally. After some time languishing at home, and becoming more and more frustrated by the prospect, I decided to take a leap of faith, and try to use my knowledge of and passion for coffee to make my own work, that’s when Bear Essentials was born.
What is Bear Essentials?
“Bear Essentials is a project born of an unexpected change of circumstances and a long lived passion.”
– Me explaining what I do
At its heart Bear Essentials got its name because it is me laid bare, my attempt to overcome my illnesses and mental health issues, to find value and productivity, maybe even to earn a living. So the answer comes down to who I am, what I do, and what I stand for:
A Coffee Expert: I don’t love the term as it implies so much, but under advisement from others I will accept that it fits. I know my beans, from crop to cup. I am very much a jack of all trades, my focus is on forming holistic coffee knowledge and using it to strengthen the industry and educate coffee lovers.
An Educator: I believe that coffee, like many industries is facing a reality check, and I am convinced that increasing knowledge in both professionals and consumers will be key to our future. Outmoded practices, environmental changes, socio economic pressure and a lack of agricultural research mean we are facing a lot of challenges and I want to help to address them.
A Disability Advocate: My own experiences in accepting and adapting to my disability have fired a passion for change in the way we approach disability and work. You can expect to see me talk a lot about this. In fact Bear Essentials training arm Green Bean Project is focused on overcoming barriers to employment in coffee.
An Equality Advocate: I am Pan-Sexual, Polyamorous, Christian and happily married, and I support all forms of equality. I do not believe that there remains a place for division or discrimination of any kind in our world. Coffee has been at the heart of our society for centuries, so what better industry to lead the way in this and so much more.
A Professional: I do take consulting, speaking and writing work for pay, and Green Bean Project does provide commercial training. While my site is not pay to read I do ask that you consider suporting my work it’s harder than you might think to keep this site alive.
I was taken by the power that savouring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.
How can I support your work?
Firstly if you are thinking of supporting what I do, thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I have a Paypal Me link should you feel the desire to contribute to the continuation of the site.
“Good communication, like good coffee is beautiful to experience and deceptively hard to achieve.”
-Me paraphrasing Anne Spencer, when explaining the time it takes to do what I do.
Honestly if you enjoy the content enough and you can afford to, I encourage you to consider a donation, as producing content does take time and effort, I have running costs and of course coffee and equipment do cost money. But this site remains a place intended to be open to anyone, so I have no intention of charging for my work. If you feel what I do has a value to it then I am very proud to know that, and any contribution is gratefully received.
If you are happy to help me out you can do so via the link below.