Best wishes to Forest Perk
by Mandy Shunnarah • August 09, 2012 @ 6:00am
One of Birmingham’s favorite places to grab a cup of joe and relax with a good book is saying its goodbyes this weekend. Caleb Kinsaul, owner of Forest Perk Coffee, reflects on the great times he’s had in Birmingham and the joys of running a coffee shop.
“I’ve grown from a business standpoint and I’ve learned new things every day. Getting a business degree doesn’t mean that you know how to run a business. I like seeing how all the small pieces fit together to make the bigger business,” said Kinsaul.
“I’ve also really enjoyed getting involved with the community,” Kinsaul said.
Part of Kinsaul’s community involvement was using Forest Perk to do work with nonprofit organizations, such as The Exceptional Foundation, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, AIDS Alabama, United Way, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Heart Gallery Alabama, Impact Alabama, and more.
“We’ve got a huge network of nonprofits within five to six blocks of the shop. It made sense to build relationships with them. I was taught to give back, and doing so works for everyone,” Kinsaul said.
Working with nonprofits and making friends with his customers are just two of Kinsaul’s favorite things about having Forest Perk.
“I’ve become friends with so many people through Forest Perk. I love being able to have fun at work,” said Kinsaul.
He noted in particular Sherri Ross, who was a customer of Forest Perk and has become one of his best friends. She is organizing the Forest Perk Best Wishes Party on August 11 for Kinsaul as he takes the next step in his life—taking over his parents’ dental practice in Auburn, AL.
“I’m looking forward to the Best Wishes Party because it’ll be nice to hang out with customers without having to make them something,” Kinsaul laughed. “We’ve built more than a customer service relationship by being friends with our customers.”
Although Kinsaul will miss owning Forest Perk and seeing the friends he’s made daily, he wants his send off to be a positive event.
“It’s bittersweet going back to Auburn, but it’s only 108 miles away, so I’ll be back to hang out with my friends some weekends. I can’t tell you how many people have offered their couches to me and my two dogs,” said Kinsaul with a smile.
All are welcome to Forest Perk’s Best Wishes Party. For more information, check out the Facebook event page.