If you’re a certain age or a fan of British comedy, you might remember the standard introduction to any number of bizarre sketches on the 1970’s TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus was, “And now for something completely different.” On this edition of Out to Lunch we’re taking a break from unrelenting weeks of disturbing or just downright bad economic news to look at three businesses who are continuing to exist in a parallel universe, beyond Covid 19.

Coffee

Coffee is the 2nd largest traded commodity in the world. Behind oil. After what’s been happening in the oil market over the last few weeks, it’s probably safe to say that, as of right now, coffee is the biggest commodity in international trade.

professional coffee taster Drew Cambre

professional coffee taster Drew Cambre

Drew Cambre is a professional coffee taster. It wouldn’t be surprising if you didn’t know “coffee taster” was an actual job. With the popularity of coffee drinking at a generational high and unemployment running at record levels, you might be thinking this is the kind of job you could do. Is it as fun and easy as it sounds?

Take a listen to this conversation and see what you think. Technically, Drew is Coffee Quality Manager at The Dupuy Group, a global logistics company headquartered in New Orleans.

Grass

Whenever somebody has a brilliant new idea for a business that’s going to make everybody rich, they pitch it as a version of another brilliant idea that is supposed to make everybody rich. Like, say, Uber.

The fact is, that even before this current economic downturn, Uber was losing billions of dollars a year. But that doesn’t stop entrepreneurs coming up with concepts based on Uber’s gig-economy model. There’s Hampr, an app that’s “the Uber of laundry.” Bambino is “the Uber of baby sitting.” And now, from Baton Rouge, there’s Block Lawncare – the Uber of grass cutting.

Matthew Armstrong - tech-driven lawncare

Matthew Armstrong – tech-driven lawncare

The co-founder of Block Lawncare is Matthew Armstrong. What started out as “the Uber of grass cutting” is poised to be more than just a grass hook-up. Block Lawncare has its sights firmly set on world domestic services domination.

A Better You

Whatever you do, however successful you are, it seems to be human nature to want to do better. To have a better job, a better house, a better car…  At the same time, even the most materialistic among us would probably say, we’d also like to be a better person.

To better ourselves in a non-material sense, we normally make a choice. We either go the secular route – go to therapy – or we go the spiritual route and join a church, or follow some other spiritual self-development philosophy.

Mary Margaret Camalo - building a better you through Soulful Empowerment

Mary Margaret Camalo – building a better you through Soulful Empowerment

Mary Margaret Camalo doesn’t believe you have to make that choice. Mary Margaret is a Transpersonal Psychotherapist who practices an approach to mental and spiritual health, called Psychosynthesis.

We typically think of mental health as having short term goals – like getting over depression – and spiritual growth as being a lifetime journey. Mary Margaret’s Psychosynthesis balances these two seemingly opposed approaches to self-improvement.

Peter Ricchiuti, Stephanie Riegel, Drew Cambre, Mary Margaret Camalo, Matthew Armstrong, Christiaan Mader - life beyond the virus

Peter Ricchiuti, Stephanie Riegel, Drew Cambre, Mary Margaret Camalo, Matthew Armstrong, Christiaan Mader – life beyond the virus

As we look toward returning to some sort of normalcy, it’s good to remind ourselves that there’s life beyond the virus.

Photos Jill Lafleur,. If you’re looking for more “And now for something completely different” business distractions from Covid 19, try this.

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