SLICE ‘N SIP – Episode 17

Coffee…. AND Pizza?!?!?!?!

For anyone who spent time with our group, you know that both personal and professional development are embedded in our bones. And fortunately for us, our client relationships have brought us some amazing opportunities to lean into growth and push ourselves in new and exciting ways. 

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of helping host Shawn Moon for a leadership seminar. Shawn is a published author and former VP at Franklin Covey, where he still moonlights. His trip to Spokane brought him here to spend a day teaching the 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team.

Fortunately, this fateful day brought us BOTH coffee AND pizza, go figure right?! 

The event was held at the newly opened ‘The Hive’ – a library building that, get this.. has no books. The Hive is part art space, part business center, and part community space of the future. What was built in partnership with Spokane Public Schools, this cutting-edge workspace has a roster of activities, classes, and learning opportunities for everyone. The best part – anyone with a library card can host private groups, clubs, or training events. To say everyone was abuzz at this awesome amenity in Spokane’s East Central neighborhood is an understatement. 

And if you’re ever spending time in this section of town – miFlavor is a must. miFlavor opened its current brick-and-mortar in 2019 and brought French patisserie to the heart of the East Central neighborhood. The owners Ella and Max Piskun, a dynamic husband and wife duo, started this delicious journey with their signature Adeo Jr. (a divine flourless chocolate cake) handmade by Ella for their second date. With a foundational love for french patisserie, they combined their strengths, her culinary background, and his entrepreneurial skills, to open a unique bakery that has expanded to two additional sister companies, Volonti & Citrine Honey. 

They feature croissants, macarons, tiramisu, mirror mousse cakes, fresh-churned gelato, savory sandwiches, specialty cakes, and of course espresso. 

Perhaps the most mouthwatering aspect, and visually stunning addition, to the bakery, is the oversized HD television in the main space. Playing on a continuous loop is slow-motion footage of batter-making, cake decorating, macaron garnishing, and all the other delightfully satisfying moments that occur back in the bakery. Seriously, you’ll stare and want to order one of everything. And the screen itself is turned vertical, not that the orientation alone makes it more enticing, but removing itself from the traditional 16:9 ratio somehow makes it feel like you’re there in the room with them. 

Okay, back to the real food. If it’s breakfast, do not skimp on the croissants. I went for the almond croissant, toasted. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, slivered almonds, and packed to the gills inside with fabulous almond butter. And we highly recommend, for good measure, adding a macaron. Doesn’t matter the time of day. Life is short, amiright!?!

The macarons come in 30 seasonal flavors, like Rosewater, Raspberry Cotton Candy, and Wild Huckleberry. The kids will love Cake Batter and for me, Red Velvet is an easy go-to. They are delicate, delicious, and simply delightful.  

What would breakfast be without coffee? They have the standard espresso bar options. Mochas, lattes, drips. But for whatever reason, when I find myself here I get a hankering for a straight doppio. 2 shots of espresso, served in one of those cute little cups. And at miFlavor it’s strong, a little bitter, but exactly what I was looking for. 

Now that I’m loaded up with all the grub, we head back to The Hive for class. I won’t dive in too much here, other than saying if you get the chance to take one of these seminars in person, jump on it. If the class is being taught by one of the actual Covey guys, doubly recommended.

When you’re in the thick of leadership training and good company, lunch never comes soon enough. It’s like my mind gets hungry.. and of course, as I tend to do, I turned to Andrea and Genevieve and asked how about pizza? No surprise there, but what caught us a little off guard was when we considered our options. This part of East Sprague isn’t known for its bustling foodie scene, so where are we gonna eat? Ahhh.. there’s a Costco down the road. 

Yep, we’re not proud. We beelined for Costco, snuck in through the returns door, and made our way to the self-service kiosk. We’re def going full pizza – and those always take longer, so we ordered fast. Now, for my Costco pizza aficionados, you may have already known this, but I was blown away to learn that they’ve discontinued the combo pizza! Wait, what?! The enduring combination of veggies and meats, a staple at ANY pizza joint, is now no longer available!? I shed a tear. 

Once composed we decided that the half cheese, half pepperoni would do the trick (the only choices now.. ugh.. cries in Kirkland™ tears). After making the selection, adding some drinks, sliding the card to pay, and print the ticket. Normal stuff really. Within moments, “664” comes shouted from the kitchen. Looking at the ticket, confirming that yes, that’s us. It’s a pizza miracle. “We had an extra come out just now,” our server says sliding the box across the counter. 

Sweet. But you know what they say about the triple constraint.. Cheap, Fast, or Good.. you can only choose 2. 

It’s lunchtime on Friday, so tables are full at the food court. Although, I’m pretty sure they are always full. So we decide to head back to The Hive and eat in the conference room. Yes, you can eat food there too!! What kind of magical library is this? 

Hot pizzas are great, but there’s always that perfect cool-down time. And mark my words, I believe the drive time from Costco back to The Hive amounts to the exact right time. Back in the room, we cracked the box and got that blast of fresh pizza scent. It was glorious. The kind of glorious where you eat two slices, think you’re probably full, but eat two more anyway. 

There’s something about cheap pizza. It’s either actually cheap (think cardboard crust) or it’s somehow still really, really good. This one was it. Cheap, fast, and good.. we scored the trifecta. 

And bonus points – you probably don’t have to travel far to try this one out yourself. So next time you’re smashing on some Costco Pizza, take a moment to reflect on your own personal leadership style. Maybe it was just me, but there was something cathartic about pushing the boundaries of my leadership while snacking on pizza that was always within reach.