417: Being present with Jonathan Blakeslee

In this episode with Jonathan Blakeslee, we discuss doing something better every day, being patient when waiting for good things to happen, how Blakeslee got his start, calmness, focus, presence, following your passion, selling your passion, starting where you can, scaling from wholesale to retail, choosing transformative relationships over transactional relationships, knowing who you are, focusing on who you are, letting your team weigh in on the decision making and creative processes, becoming a person of value, and using small business centers.

After serving in the United States Coast Gaurd, Jonathan Blakeslee fell in love with Japanese culture and tea. Upon finishing his service, Blakeslee attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon, and would eventually find himself working at the Toa of Tea also located in Portland, OR. Homesickness slowly crept in, and Blakeslee moved bake to the east coast where he would start his own wholesale tea operation, White Heron Tea & Coffee. Today he has scaled that operation to include 40 seat cafe and White Herons own house-roasted organic coffee.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Do something better every day”

Today’s Sponsor


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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Using a daily priority sheet.
    • Momentum.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Confrontation
  3. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Look for people who care.
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • How to manage growth without losing impact.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Encourages his team to share who they are.
  6. What one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff.

    • Be a human.
  7. Share an online resource or tool.

    • Tea and Coffee Trade Journal
  8. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  9. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

  10. If you got the news that you’d be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be.

    1. Be a good person.
    2. Do good work.
    3. Be present

Contact Info


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Jonathan Blakeslee for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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