10 Minutes With Heather Ringwood

2012-05-16 18.59.24

Heather Ringwood
Business Development, Customer Support
Espresso Parts
Olympia, Washington

What other coffee jobs have you had?

I worked at Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters for 16 years and held a lot of job titles there, the last one being Operations Director. I started as a barista there when we had one store in downtown Olympia, and had the opportunity to run a store, manage our retail operations, open new stores, and oversee our wholesale department. My work at B&B allowed me to really grow as a person and coffee professional—nevermind the amazing people I had the opportunity to work with throughout the years! I have also been a Specialty Coffee Association of America volunteer for 10+ years assisting with the annual event, professional development, and helping to create several of the classes that are taught today! I am currently the Chair of the Competitions Committee and really love the competitions and its program development currently underway.

Heather Ringwood has been in the specialty-coffee industry for almost two decades, working in all positions, from barista to cafe manager, to wholesale and marketing, and through it all, she has volunteered for the industry she loves so much.

Heather Ringwood has been in the specialty-coffee industry for almost two decades, working in all positions, from barista to cafe manager, to wholesale and marketing, and through it all, she has volunteered for the industry she loves so much.

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

The coffee itself is just the cornerstone of what this industry is all about. From that foundation, we investigate and converse about the supply chain, social issues, environmental concerns, our greater community, and skill building. This is a “from the ground up” sort of community that supports the development of business and people within its mix—all things I truly value.

Heather is a head judge for regional and national barista competitions. She is the current Chair of

Heather is a head judge for regional and national barista competitions. She is the current Chair of there SCAA’s Competition Committee.

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

Wherever I am or whatever I am doing, I pledge to be doing what I love to do, as often as possible. I want to work to my fullest potential and push myself for more. I plan to continue to compete with my dogs in dog agility, do more creative and artistic things, travel to coffee drinking and cider sipping places around the world, and come home to a farmhouse with an orchard. Sigh.

After 16 years with Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters in Olympia, Wash., Heather went to work for Espresso Parts for owners Melissa and Matt Myer. Heather loves the team at Espresso Parts, which includes her brother, Dave, as well as her partner, Dave.

After 16 years with Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters in Olympia, Wash., Heather went to work for Espresso Parts for owners Melissa and Matt Myer. Heather loves the team at Espresso Parts, which includes her brother, Dave, as well as her partner, Dave.

Who and what inspires you?

The entrepreneur inspires me. The self starter and hard worker who makes their dreams come true! It is such a pleasure to see successful, happy people and businesses happening all around me. The owners of Espresso Parts, Melissa and Matt [Myer], have that spirit. They lead our team to make forward-moving decisions that produce growth and opportunity. Michael Elvin opened Bar Francis this year with a cart in an art space in Olympia. Most people would overlook it as they drive by the hole-in-the-wall location, but they are missing out on some of the Northwest’s, if not the United States’, best coffee! My partner, Dave White and I are starting a cider company, Whitewood Cider. Watching Dave work in a new industry, build up the community and push the barriers into an up and coming beverage sector is inspiring. My dog-training friends, including my co-worker at Happy Dog Institute, are making a living helping people train and have more fun with their dogs through positive training methods. Amazing! I think the coffee community inspires us all to be passionate about what we do and be true to ourselves. That will take some of us on to other jobs outside the coffee industry, but the passion continues on.

Heather is very active in dog training and competitive agility events with her dogs, Newton (black) and Rowan (not pictured). Here also is Banjo, Heather's partner Dave's dog.

Heather is very active in dog training and competitive agility events with her dogs, Newton (black) and Rowan (not pictured). Here also is Banjo, Heather’s partner Dave’s dog.

What are you drinking right now?

An Americano from Bar Francis made with Fourbarrel Friendo Blendo

Heather is very involved in both her local coffee community as well as the larger national and international coffee scenes. She's pictured here with Miguel Vicuna, one of her fellow barista competition head judges.

Heather is very involved in both her local coffee community as well as the larger national and international coffee scenes. She’s pictured here with Miguel Vicuna, one of her fellow barista competition head judges.

Crazy coffee experience you’d like to share?

I have no insane coffee adventure stories. I am just really thankful for the opportunities that I have had to spend time with the industry’s most forward-thinking people, to travel to far-away places like Dubai and experience a burgeoning coffee culture, and to have a hand in developing programs that make a difference to those folks in the industry.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.