Friday, June 11, 2010

Deploying The Troops

You go here, and you go there.

It's HonFest time here in Hampden and I don't know what to expect. Denise says she's expecting 65,000 people, others say it's complete and utter madness, the guys at King's look scared, and I still have no idea what to expect.

Even though I'm a seasoned festival operator, having done the largest of Maryland festivals (Artscape) for ten years, we're going completely out of the box with this one and serving iced coffee - a product I've never produced at scale. Several attempts at alternative batch brewing have resulted in either a product we're not happy to serve or wonky methodology that takes too long to produce anything remotely usable.

The Three Dollar Breakfast Sandwich at Spro.

Instead we're turning to tried and true methods of cold brewing coffee that yield predictable and delicious results. The real challenge is to serve iced coffee of equal quality to our normal service but on a grand scale. Can it be done? Well, we're hell-bent on making it happen.

While the shop hums along normally, Devlin and Jeremy are tasking away in the downstairs prep brewing coffee and iced tea by the bucketful. Buckets of iced coffee and iced tea line along the floors. It's impressive.

Upstairs, Derrick (on loan from Jays Shave Ice) is busy prepping the kitchen with product for the Three Dollar Breakfast Sandwich. Boxes of eggs, cheese, butter, sausage and bread are rolling through the doors in anticipation. Mexican Coke, soy milk and additional paper goods are being transferred from Towson by Lindsay while Kimmy maintains a stern gaze over her barista trainee charges.

All in all, just another day at Spro Hampden.

Sixty gallons of iced coffee - going for broke.

Sixty gallons - one half gallon batch at a time.

They killed the ice maker.

Looking out towards the future.