Palace Coffee Company
Canyon and Amarillo, Texas
What other coffee jobs have you had?
Well, you have to start somewhere and my somewhere was odd. My first job in coffee was setting up and running a coffee bar in a church. It was great practice for running my own shop and I was guaranteed a paycheck. Project 7 also contracted me to help research and launch their coffee line. It was through that research that I attended my first SCAA Event which propelled me into the style of coffee that I love.
What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?
As trite as it sounds, it really is people. I got into coffee to create a place of community—a place where anyone can come in and feel that they belong. To top it off, we get to serve some fantastic coffee made by our talented baristas who truly care about what they do and who they do it for. Then you expand out into the people in the coffee community at large. It’s there that you see so much selflessness and passion. Our industry is full of amazing people, and I love being a part of it in a small way.
Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?
I started Palace Coffee as a way to provide for my family, and in 10 years my boys will be out on their own. I see my wife and I active in supporting them and traveling some. I’d like to be involved more with our industry and be an active voice for the small and mid market shops that are making an impact.
Who and what inspires you?
My wife inspires me. She works so hard so I can live out my wild and crazy dream. She is the definition of selfless. On a bigger scale, I am inspired that small acts in a person’s life can make a huge impact. There are so many nameless and faceless people that through kindness are changing someone’s life.
What are you drinking right now?
Right this moment I am drinking Verve’s Kochoha Ethiopia brewed by a Clever.
Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?
I have so many coffee experiences, but the lasting ones are how humble and kind people can be in our industry. I had the opportunity to spend a day in Kansas City (one of my favorite coffee cities) running my South Central Barista Competition presentation at About the Coffee with some amazing coffee people. I had some tough news on my drive up, so my mind wasn’t entirely on my presentation when I was there. I felt bad for seemingly wasting these people’s time. They were so kind to me and we put aside any competition talk and just hung out and talked for awhile. That day will stay with me.
What do you do when you’re not doing coffee?
You can typically find me with my wife and kids. We tend to have a busy life with just the day-to-day stuff that comes up, but we make sure we spend time together. I have had to intentionally neglect my enjoyment of riding my motorcycle of late, but I hope to fix that when it warms up.