I was born in 1979 and spent my formative years in Byron, a small farm town in Michigan. This tight-knit community taught me the value of hard work and the importance of a supportive community. These early lessons have been the cornerstone of my nearly 20-year career in the coffee industry.
In 2001, I moved to Seattle, a city known for its rich coffee culture. I started as a barista at Tully’s Coffee on the corner of 1st and Virginia. Over the next three years, I climbed the ranks to become a store manager. This hands-on experience in the coffee world was my first deep dive into the complexities of coffee brewing, customer service, and cafe management.
As part of my ongoing commitment to deepening my expertise, I became a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. This has provided me with invaluable insights into global coffee trends, brewing techniques, and sustainable practices. I was also on track to receive my Coffee Master certification from Starbucks, but the program was unfortunately discontinued before I could complete it. Nonetheless, the rigorous training I underwent has been instrumental in shaping my comprehensive understanding of coffee.
After my time in Seattle, I relocated to Lompoc, California. The daily 3 am commutes to Santa Barbara to manage a Starbucks were grueling but rewarding. This chapter of my life underscored my dedication to my craft, as I balanced managerial responsibilities with the practical aspects of running a busy coffee shop.
In 1997, I took a trip to Europe that profoundly influenced my perspective on coffee and life. The European approach to coffee, steeped in tradition and cultural significance, expanded my understanding of what coffee could be and how it could bring people together.
Life hasn’t been without its challenges. I’ve battled with sobriety and am proud to say that I’ve been clean for nearly 13 years now. This personal journey has instilled in me a sense of resilience and gratitude that I bring into every aspect of my life, including this blog.
Currently, I serve as a Senior Art Director for Copeland in St. Louis. When I’m not at work, I’m spending quality time with my amazing 3-year-old daughter and participating actively in my local Catholic church. My wife, whom I met during her improv class, has been my rock through all life’s ups and downs.
This blog is more than just a platform; it’s a synthesis of my life experiences, professional expertise, and personal journey. With nearly two decades in the coffee industry, I aim to provide readers with actionable insights backed by extensive knowledge and data. Whether you’re a casual coffee drinker or a fellow professional, my goal is to offer something valuable to everyone who visits this space.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. Your readership and support mean the world to me.