Bear Essentials is relaunching with a brand new look and some exciting changes!
What’s it all about?
Bear Essentials is, at its heart, a way for me to engage people with coffee. After being diagnosed with long term illness and having to accept that I couldn’t “work” anymore, I decided to launch a small coffee blog. Then it grew…
Over the year and some change that Bear Essentials has existed we have had incredible support, made fantastic connections and even launched our very own training brand in Green Bean Project. It’s been a hell of a ride.
But like so many things it’s not been easy and some errors have been made. It became pretty obvious that we needed to re-jig a little to allow us to do all we want to. So here it is, the brand new and spangly re-launch!
Firstly let’s have a couple of introductions
My name is Rich Gardner but feel free to call me Bear, and I suppose Bear Essentials is my brainchild. I am 40 years old and was diagnosed with life restricting illnesses around 2016-2018 (more on all that another time) so I came up with this site as a place to make my own work. I put together the website, I write the majority of the content and I handle video editing and the shiny new You Tube adventure. I also consult, educate and train in the world of coffee more about that here But I certainly don’t do everything.
My wife Em is the mastermind of our social media and digital footprint (she really wants a hat and an outfit for this, maybe also a wolf sidekick!). Diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia, Em spent four years bedbound, another two years in a wheelchair and finally after six hard years she is able to live her life, as long as she manages her energy levels. In that time her main entertainment was talking to people online so she learned a lot about digital communication and social media. She now puts these skills to cunning (a mwahaha from her is obligatory here) use for Bear Essentials. All the cool, funny posts you read, most of the photos and camera work are from her. She stays on top of your comments, answers as soon as she can and drinks rather a lot of coffee. Please do not follow her example when it comes to the strength of the coffee she drinks, she is a monster and gets no effect from caffeine!
The third vital wheel in the core of Bear Essentials is Heather. Heather is my PA… no not the oh so swish kind that stars have (I wish!). Heather looks after my healthcare and personal needs when my illnesses mean I can’t. She also answers the phone, takes messages, watches both Em and I’s schedules, cleans the house, helps out with the site, provides transport (neither me nor Em can drive) and she’s a single mum to boot. Basically she is Mary Poppins and without her we genuinely could not do what we do.
So that’s who we are. What do we do here?
At its heart Bear Essentials will always be about coffee, we talk about brewing, trade ethos, roasting, technique, pretty much anything we can. But from time to time we can and will touch on other issues, I am an advocate in inclusivity and disability and I will speak about my personal views on the world, when I feel comfortable doing so.
Green Bean Project gets its own paragraph. Born of the belief that if I can find a way to share my skills and experiences we could help to make the industry as inclusive and accessible as possible. Green Bean Project also provides us with a potential income stream through commercial and private training and education events. Which brings me to the thorny issue of money…
The growth of the site and the interest in all that we do and want to be doing have been amazing. So amazing in fact that it’s become apparent that we need to grow, and to do that we need that money thing. So we have two income streams available at the moment.
1: Training & Events
We are able to provide training both to professionals and to private individuals who want to improve their skills in coffee. We can also provide coffee experience and education events. This is a fun way to make some money, but it’s a little inconsistent.
2: PayPal and Donations
Our primary method of keeping the lights on is your generosity. If you like what we produce, send us a donation, or even set up a monthly sub, that would be amazing and every little helps.
No Pay Walls
I am adding this so people understand why I don’t set up a tier driven sub system or go subscription only on the site. This boils down to the core of who we are. We promote accessibility in coffee, so to limit access to our work to paying individuals only would seem painfully hypocritical to me. So we don’t.
About Bear Essentials Coffee
If you have enjoyed this or any of my writing please check out my Homepage to find out more about me and my work. Follow the blog and if you feel you can, drop a donation to support this project.
Thanks, – Bear