We just celebrated 4 years of Captain's Grounds! What a crazy time it's been for us!  Looking and thinking back to our little cart out front of Captain's Helm, how we poured our hearts and blood sweat and tears into everything we did and crossed our fingers, saying, "Here's to hoping...".  

We think about the first time we set tables out there by the curb, and a couple from the Netherlands on vacation here in Oceanside were the first ones to partake in our little idea to put seating out there and we remember how happy it made us.  

And now how far we've come! We still feel so happy and proud when people sit out there in our little space enjoying their moments.  It's what keeps us going.  

We think about people who started coming kind of regularly, making us their coffee place- and staying a while, and getting to know each other.  This is back when there would be 20 minutes between each customer (and 4 chapters of a book for me, Jen, sometimes).  We laugh now at the thought of that... but so thankful for those early days and the relationships we built.  Most of those FRIENDS- which is what they are now.. still come, and though the conversation is 20 seconds instead of 20 minutes, we get what we need from each other.   Sometimes a smile and a high five in exchange for a dirty chai and (4 bucks) is all we need, am I right?  

We think about the local Oceanside legendary wanderers, some sketchy, some harmless who have come and gone or haven't gone.   Our friend Skip, the friendliest, smiliest, wavingest person was one of our first "regulars".  He had mental health issues, and was convinced he had a tab at the coffee cart... so we went along with it. He never paid for a single cup of coffee.  We liked it that way. We still miss his "Have a nice day!" and legendary wave and red hats.  Rest in peace, Skip.  We miss you.  

There was this guy I called "Laps" because he would literally walk laps along coast highway, but never talk, ever.  He had kind of a limp and always ALWAYS wore a clean white t shirt and tan Dickies.  He said hi back once, which made my day.  It was kind of a goal to get him to talk.   Not sure what happened to him, but we kind of miss him too.

Of course there's Irene.. who I would say a prayer for daily, as she hung out by the dumpster across the street baking in the sun, head hung low.  She recently passed away too, and it's sad and bittersweet.  She once told me that a guy named Bob was crazy as coconuts, and always called me baby... All of us miss you Irene.  

Then there's "Tip Jar" aka "Ferocious".  Pull up your pants, Tip Jar.  If you know, you know.  Kinda sketchy, kind of awesome....

There's been so many changes, good, bad, good, great.  It's been a fun 4 years.  I'm really glad I didn't give up that day I rung up $20 in sales FOR THE WHOLE DAY GUYS. Yeah, I cried, and was frustrated, and hit a wall emotionally.  But I didn't quit.  Thank the Good Lord for making the sun come up on a brand new day.  Like without fail.  

I have a feeling you know who you are, if you're reading this, and you get that little feeling that I'm talking about you:  well I probably am. Thank you for hanging in there with us, weather it's your daily, every few days, once a week, or once in a while thing, we're thankful for you.  

Happy Birthday to us. 


Our Story. Warning: it's not a short story...

Hi Friends,

A lot of people ask us a bunch of questions about the coffee cart: How long have we been here, how did we get started, and mostly as of late (the last year and a half) we get this question a lot: "What's it like having that other coffee shop right next door?" 

Well here's our story and we might even talk about the elephant in the room.

Our good friends Charlie and Maria, owners of both The Buccaneer Cafe, and the Privateer Coal Fire Pizza, and Marketplace were the original owners of the "coffee cart".  Our other friend, owner of Captain's Helm, Mitch, and Charlie and Maria brainstormed and decided it would be cool to have a coffee stand outside the shop.  So this was their second location of Buccaneer Brew- the original being at Buccaneer Beach.  It was a great idea, but lacked attention after a while and Charlie and Maria decided to sell it and we decided to buy it.  Pretty basic story.  So as of Saturday, May 12, 2013 we were officially CAPTAIN'S GROUNDS COFFEE.  

The thing is this: We didn't really know what we were doing.  

Let's start with WE:

WE are Ted and Jen Stoddard.  We met in high school, (Oceanside High School, class of 1992 go PIRATES!) and we were married in 1993.  Ted worked hard, and made a way so I (Jen) could stay home and raise the kids.  Fast forward to 2013 when my job (which is never done, I know) of raising good humans until adulthood and beyond was coming closer, it was time for me to find "a job".  Here's the problem: I know I can manage the crap out of any place, I did it in my home since I was 18.  I can solve any problem, delegate duties, design, create, inspire, keep books, and do it all well, and make dinner and sometimes even dessert. buuuut I don't have a degree to prove it so there went that idea.  Then boom! Let's buy the coffee cart and make it "my job"... (yikes).

I have always loved coffee.. drinking it that is.  Did I know the first thing about being a barista, owning a coffee business, making sure we don't run out of cups???? Nope.  But good thing I'm a fast learner, and secretly a nerd when it comes to doing something well.  So I nerded out on learning how to do coffee well.  Maybe not as nerdy as some would like- I don't weigh each shot of espresso, sorry (not sorry). But I freaking LOVE what I get to call "my job"- and I feel like it's the perfect fit for me.  And Ted is full time into coffee now too, retiring after nearly 20 years of owning his body shop.  We both feel so grateful for what we get to do.  

So here's the awkward part of what we do.. coexist alongside a coffee shop that decided to move in next door.  Cool....

How do we feel about it? We don't like it.  That's the truth.  It sucks.  There.  Now you know how we feel. If you have any more questions about it, feel free to ask in person :) Not being rude, just honest. 

Has it had an effect on our business?  We don't know.  We're too busy to notice...

Are we friends with them? No.  The kids that work there are cool... let's end it there.

Our goal is just to keep doing what we're doing.  So far, so good.