Updated: Sep 29
A short look into how i got my start in this industry
Its hard to think back to how it all started; although it was only 6 years ago it somehow seems like just yesterday and like a lifetime ago all at the same time.
I suppose the journey truly started over a decade ago. Not by any well thought out plan, but as I stumbled into my fist job in hospitality I was instantly hooked and knew that I would do this in some capacity for the rest of my life.
I was 23 and uprooted everything to move to San Diego as a paramedic. I thought that I would just continue down that path. But jobs were not as plentiful as I thought so after 6 months of commuting 45 mins each way to work i looked in another direction.
As luck would have it i had a friend working at a local spot in the high energy beach town of Pacific Beach that set me up with a job. Thats what I thought at the time but obviously it was much more than that. The tales of my ten years in that industry are for another time and perhaps another page but to sum it up I fell in love with every aspect of the hospitality industry. I would not find my love of coffee for many years but I instantly fell in love with service.
My intro into coffee happened around the same time as i found that bar job. Im sure it doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise when I say that San Diego is an expensive city so just one job was not going to cut it. I was working at the bar at night and up at 6 am to work my coffee job in the morning. This was a solid second wave shop that was all about the blenders, syrups, and whip cream. As i got more comfortable working with the coffee I began to wonder why. Why does it taste ok sometimes and unbearable others. I think the why has always been something I’ve searched for in everything i do. I’m rarely happy just doing something for the sake of doing it. I’m always looking for the ‘reason‘ behind it. I definitely didn’t understand the complexity of coffee at the time and was much more in the mindset of; coffee is coffee, it will be an acquired taste, but boy was i wrong.
Fast forward to about 10 years later when i had my first “real” coffee. I say real as it was instantly apparent to me that everything I’d had prior to this was only a cruel joke.
Finding out that coffee could actually taste amazing was a mind melting experience for me. That was the catalyst for me getting into coffee. That experience sent my WHY into overdrive. Why was this good and everything else lesser? Why isnt all coffee like this?
Thats when i fell down the specialty coffee rabbit hole and all the planning began.
In my early experiences with specialty coffee i felt that many places did the coffee justice but the service side of things was lackluster at best. I never understood why it was such an under emphasized piece of this industry. It was almost as if no one believed that specialty coffee is part of the service industry. I always knew that whatever I did for work it would be rooted in service and at this moment I discovered my passion.
My passion is creating a balance between craft & service to cultivate the perfect experience.