We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Wood and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christopher, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
I love the people part of my job. For me this is two-fold: our customers and my baristas. When we set out to open our coffee shop, we had the goal of wanting to create a work environment that we ourselves would have wanted to work in (kind of the Golden Rule but for work). This drives a lot of our decisions and helps us to hone in on what our priorities are. Employee satisfaction trickles down to customer satisfaction, and pouring into our baristas as if they were our family really makes them enjoy their jobs and makes us feel good and like we are doing something that matters.

On the customer side of things, I absolutely adore the friendships and relationships that have been cultivated simply from having a regular customer that we have the pleasure of getting to know. Just the other day I had the joy of seeing a customer that has been with us since day one come into our new location and tear up from being so proud of how far we had come! She asked for a hug before she left, and it was one of the best experiences I have had to date with this business.

What should our readers know about your business?
Be Caffeinated has found success in providing 3 things: a good, consistent cup of coffee, a quick transaction, and a relationship focused environment. We care about being quick, but we care more about interacting with our customers and making them feel valued and welcome. Our baristas feel loved and important and that translates into amazing customer service, which keeps people coming back. When we set out to open this place we always had the vision of creating a work environment in which we ourselves would have wanted to work. I believe we have created a strong foundation for that, and with our recent focus on community givebacks with local non-profits, we are truly developing a great place to work and drink coffee.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Chattanooga is an amazing place to visit. My wife and I used to come here to visit when we were in college and when we got married we decided to move to the place where we loved going to on vacation. Some of our must-dos in town are Stir (amazing drinks, appetizers, and entrees), Sitar (best Indian food in town), the Flying Squirrel (great shareable food and awesome cocktails, plus an amazing building/decor), Taco Mamacita (awesome tacos), Mexiwing VII (best wings in town), and Chao’s (Mongolian grill owned locally).

For drinks I would suggest the Whiskey Thief for the awesome view and Old Fashioned, Stir and Flying Squirrel again, Proof Bar and Incubator, Syrup and Eggs/Night Pearl, and Nic and Normans.

The Bluff View area is a great time to be had, with the coffee shop, Italian restaurant, bakery, and art exhibits all existing in the same area. For hikes we always enjoy going up one of the mountains and finding shorter hikes with beautiful waterfalls at the end. Chattanooga Whiskey has a fun tour in downtown (it ends with a flight of their whiskey, heck yeah), which is right next to the Hot Chocolatier (best hot chocolate in town), near a Clumpie’s location (best ice cream in town) and across the street from the Choo Choo (beatiful sights with a lot of the restaurants mentioned above).

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the amazing coffee in town. There are so many coffee shops and roasters in town and the coffee scene in Chattanooga is one of the strongest around. Some of these great shops include Sleepyhead Coffee, Goodman’s Coffee and Roaster, Velo Coffee Roasters, Mayfly Coffee, Chattz Coffee, Mad Priest Coffee, Cadence Coffee, Sunnyside Cup, Stone Cup, Mean Mug, and of course, both of Be Caffeinated’s locations.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been several people in my life that have made me into the person I am. The most obvious are my family and wife, while the less obvious are my elementary school Librarian, Violin teacher from high school, and my boss in Graduate school. They all impacted me in different ways, but uniformly taught me the importance of learning, valuing the opinions of other people, and making decisions with love and compassion.

Website: https://newwave-chatt.com/pages/be-caffeinated

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/newwave_coffee/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-wood-sep

Twitter: @becaffcha

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/becaffeinatedcha

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/be-caffeinated-chattanooga

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