Covid-19: Steve McFadden of Revolution Coffee Roasters

Recorded April 21, 2020 Archived April 21, 2020 12:32 minutes
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Id: APP2248724


Jackie Neale talks with friend and Revolution Coffee Roasters owner, Steve McFadden about the impact the Corona Virus has had on both his business and home life. In March 2020, the Northeast United States was given a stay-at-home order essentially forcing all employers to furlough their employees. Revolution was no exception, and Steve tells us about how difficult it has been, and the possible silver lining he envisions.


  • Steve McFadden
  • jackiephoto

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00:00 Hello, this is Jackie new continuing this photo essay, oral history of the covid-19. Coronavirus pandemic Global pandemic, and I'm here with my friend, Steve. Steve. Could you tell me your name of the factory in Revolution Coffee Roasters, my business in Collingswood, New Jersey. What's the date? Today is Tuesday, April 14th, tax day.

00:39 Is there a sorry?

00:44 What year is it to interview? So a little for those of you listening in the future and we're both wearing masks, Steve is wearing gloves and Steve is the owner proprietor of Revolution, coffee in Collingswood, New Jersey. And so he's he's actually continuing to work while the rest of us are working from home or staying home. My questions, relate to the coronavirus pandemic. The first question to you is, is there someone close to you?

01:24 You know, that has tested positive with covid-19.

01:29 Is there anybody close to me that has been tested positive for covid-19? Not to my knowledge. I do have a pretty expensive family. I have 50. Something first cousins, the possibilities out there.

01:51 I think her into the fourth week, the first week of the stay-at-home order. What is your greatest fear related to the covid-19? What is my greatest fear related to covid-19?

02:12 Society.

02:15 We'll have a long.

02:18 Paranoid hangover from this. Once we actually get through, once we actually get through this and people,

02:29 Looks like after 9/11, kept on saying the world has changed, the world is changed. Our reality may have changed, but the world still the same. And, you know, the sooner we get our sense of community and Humanity back the better.

02:55 How is this affecting you emotionally?

02:59 I think I'm holding together pretty good. I keep very busy. I still I still come to work every day. I'm a coffee roaster and I can't really do that from home. So I come into work and I stay very busy. I think emotionally. I'm pretty much the same as I was a month ago.

03:21 Which,

03:23 Good, bad or indifferent.

03:27 How do you get bored? How do you keep yourself entertained? I don't have time to get bored while I'm working. I'm focused on my work, but I, you know, I try to play music. I try to keep myself informed. My biggest task, once I go home. I have a 5 year old son. I have to keep entertained, which when he has little to no fear in her action right now, killed his own age, turns out, we're not really all that entertaining in the eyes of a five-year-old.

04:13 Okay, that leads me to my next question. How is this affecting your family relationship? Like with your children? Your brother, your sister, your parents, your wife. How is it affecting my family relationships going to start with my phone to start with my parents. My parents are both in their up and in their mid to Upper 80s, they are they are riding this out in their apartment. I did a drive-by visit with them on Easter where we stayed. We're doing good. And that's that's good. My wife and I have found a good balance at home as far as you know, shouldering the burden of what I said earlier about trying to keep our child in her.

05:13 I guess the one who is really, really having the toughest go of it and he doesn't somebody and no.

05:33 Uncertain terms of this coronavirus is the worst, the worst, the worst days, the worst month.

05:44 And I,

05:48 What did you say? He says, he says this coronavirus Coronavirus.

05:56 Is the worst. These are the worst months. These are the worst days and you know, he sometimes has tantrums and we give him a wide berth and you know his stuff. It's tough when you're up for a five-year-old hasn't developed the coping skills to deal with this on a rational basis.

06:26 I'll see you there. All universes, has world's been turned upside down and nobody can, nobody can really explain to him other than we're trying to stick to say. Stay safe what that means.

06:40 So I'm going to go ask her. How has your business been affected?

06:46 So we leave our retail Cafe and going to an online presence of online orders, curbside pickup, home, delivery, and curbside pickup. They're able to enjoy a little bit of normalcy with their morning coffee cuz they're still able to get with their used to.

07:17 We're right.

07:21 We are literally in organization with low overhead and I guess leave. The biggest defect is we had, we had a late wait, so they, they're the ones. I guess. They're the ones that are really taking taking the brunt of this, you know, I hope

07:43 I hope that they can come through with his lease pain as possible. But the only way to ensure that they have a job to come back to is was basically to

07:56 Furlough them and tell them to collect unemployment.

08:00 But I think we're going to be okay, and I think we're in a good position to survive this.

08:07 That's great. News. Are you, do you have any feeling as to when you think that that we're all going to be able to go back to the opening businesses, and being able to go at the cafe is again, I know you follow the news, you read the paper, you listen to the news, you watch the news, just because we are acquainted. I know that and I don't have a good gas, but I'm wondering if you or your kind of projecting something.

08:35 So we will actually be able to start to see a little bit like returning to a some semblance of normalcy is probably early June.

08:55 And I'm kind of deducting that from what I, from what I'm hearing on, the news from politicians Economist and Healthcare experts. That is my, that's my best, guess is early June. So that being said, I've already

09:22 Having some discussions with with my business partner and no colleagues here of what, you know, what our preparations are guns, are going to be for that because when we reopen our retail operations, probably going to look, but we operated for

09:51 Period of two weeks with no sit-down service in the cafe. And I think we adapted well to. It was only going to be a matter of time before we were going to actually have to shut the door.

10:10 Okay. So what is your greatest? Hope for a silver lining or Alcon?

10:17 Well, I hope things like this, the Silver Lining to something like this could be maybe we're a little less divisive as a country. We are getting clobbered by a car,, then antenna me right now and it's, you know, it, it's unseen. But whether you're the right left or indifferent of the political Spectrum, everybody, everybody can get sick and everybody is going to be everybody's going to be affected by this. Hope as a shared experience that we start to like it one another, a little more.

11:03 Any hope for that, huh? I do.

11:11 Retired retired, very divided times in our in our society before and shared experiences seem to be with, you know, what kind of pulls back from our quarters and pulls us back into the into being a cohesive Society again.

11:33 Is there anything else you'd like me to know, or you want to share?

11:37 You probably know this or have yes, this is an interview that will go on to storycorps has archive and will be filed with the Library of Congress as an oral history.

11:51 I hope.

11:56 I hope they look back and they say, you know.

12:03 They can say that we actually that we did the right things at the right time and I'm sure there's been a lot of it. There's been a lot of mistakes, but I think I just think I hope as as a whole. We're making the right decisions and I know hate history is going to judge us.

12:22 Tell Alexa, I hope we're getting it, right.

12:26 Awesome. Alright. Thank you, Steve.

12:30 Thank you.