I started Percasso Coffee & Bottled Water Service in 1993 out of my garage with a business plan, an old Ford delivery truck with about six million miles on it. My business partner, my wife Erika, was coffee pot washer, and book keeper (she can tell you all about using a 1986 Lisa computer for accounting!). Those were busy times! Oh yes, we also had a one-year old son-Jamieson. We were definitely a family business!
In the beginning it was me against the “Big Boys”, the larger traditional coffee service companies. What kept me going during the challenging times were the rewarding relationships I had with customers.
I have an unwavering belief that our client’s happiness will be Percasso’s success and have always believed in creating good Karma; it’s good for our customers and our employees. It makes us all feel good about what we do, and it’s good for business.
Before the internet and Yelp and Google we grew the business by word of mouth. I still find personal relationships the most rewarding part of owning a small business. We were all about relationships before “relational selling” was a thing.
The challenges have been many. In 1996 we decided to change our name from “Aqua Java.” We were running out of inspiration so we asked our clients and held a contest for the best name. A very creative employee from a firm we still service came up with Percasso (while looking up “Perk” in a dictionary as I stood by, she combined Perk + Picasso, with the tag line, “the art of customer service”. It was sheer genius!
Our trademark attorney’s professional opinion was Pablo Picasso’s Estate would not be concerned; however, we soon received a missive from his estate demanding that we “cease and desist.” After a lot of back and forth (their attorneys took frequent safaris to Africa), they allowed us to continue using the name.
Over the years our family business has grown to 15. Each staff member brings their expertise, creativity, problem solving ability, initiative, resourcefulness, and skill sets to make Percasso what it is today. Working at a small business means we must all wear many hats. I know that our employees are our best asset and strongest selling point. We are honored that they chose to work with us!
As the world changes and we adapt to technological advances and evolve to improve what we do, we still remain true to our core values.