10 Minutes With Holly Perry

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Holly Perry
Director of Retail Operations
Klatch Coffee, Inc.
Upland, California

What other coffee jobs have you had? 

Working in the family business and beginning at such a young age, I essentially worked my way from the bottom up. I started out at the age of 6 sweeping the bean counters and charming customers with my cuteness [smiles]. Around the age of 12, I began working the register, baking, making sandwiches, and cleaning. After about a year of that, I got antsy and begged my mom to teach me how to make drinks, thus beginning my job as a barista. A few years later when I got my driver’s license, I also worked with my Dad on the wholesale side of the business packaging and delivering coffee.

At the age of 18, I parted ways from the family business and I went to college in San Diego—where I ended up getting a job at a campus café working as a barista. I just couldn’t stay away from coffee! After 3 years, I made my way back to Klatch. I worked as our office manager for a few months and then went back into our retail stores. I slowly asked for and took on more responsibility from my mom who was managing at time. It was at this point, at the age of 21, when my coffee career at Klatch actually began.

Since then, I have heavily involved myself in the retail side of our business focusing on store growth, employee development, and coffee education.

Holly and select members of her Klatch Coffee staff worked together to win the America's Best Coffeehouse Competition at Coffee Fest Seattle in 2012.

Holly and select members of her Klatch Coffee staff worked together to win the America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition at Coffee Fest Seattle in 2012.

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

THE COFFEE!

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

Throwing a kick-ass party for Klatch’s 30th anniversary!!!

My parents built an amazing company that I am blessed and excited to be a part of. Both Heather and I plan on continuing the business alongside our dad, of course. He’ll never stop working because he loves it too much! We’ll work to keep Klatch a company that is known for quality coffee and outstanding service, both locally and globally (because as you would expect, Heather wants to take over the world!).

Holly has taken a lead role in the training of baristas the first Klatch Coffee to open in South Korea.

Holly has taken a lead role in the training of baristas the first Klatch Coffee to open in South Korea.

Who and what inspires you?

First and foremost, my family is who inspires me. My dad has this incredible work ethic and business sense about him that I aspire to have. Both he and my sister have a passion for coffee that is insatiable. Heather is downright amazing both at work and at home (yes, I am biased because she’s my sister, but I am sure a lot of people may agree with me on this). And my mother—she is kindhearted, warm, giving, and creative. Everyone loves my mother!

I am also inspired by my customers, my staff, and other professionals within the industry.  I am constantly surrounded by incredible, hard-working, creative, and fascinating people. Getting to know them and learning about what makes each of you special inspires me to be the very best version of myself and hopefully inspire you in return.

Holly often participates in the Coffee Fest Latte Art Competitions, but she just does it for fun.

Holly often participates in the Coffee Fest Latte Art Competitions, but she just does it for fun.

What are you drinking right now? 

Just this week we launched Nitrogen Cold Brew at our San Dimas location and I cannot get enough of it! Our seasonal offering is a Guatemala Huehuetenango micro lot from Finca el Rincon and it is outstanding!

Someday...

Someday…

Crazy coffee experience you’d like to share?

I don’t know how to choose just one when so many come to mind. There’s the crazy good, like finding out we won Roaster of the Year and celebrating our 20th anniversary. There’s the crazy bad, like walking into the store at 5 a.m. and stepping into an inch of water because the drains are backed up. Then there’s the unbelievable crazy, like when your staff (to their credit, they had no idea) poured a cupping with bleach water. There are crazy customers—like that one old man who dresses as a princess (complete with pink high heels)—and crazy employees—like the one who walks out on the job because they refuse to take one more test. The craziest part though, it that these don’t even seem that crazy anymore.

Holly loves being part of a family business, and she has grown her role into one of the company's most relevant. She and her sister, Heather, plan to continue with their family company for their entire careers.

Holly loves being part of a family business, and she has grown her role into one of the company’s most relevant. She and her sister, Heather, plan to continue with their family company for their entire careers.

What are you doing when you’re not doing coffee?

Even when I’m not doing coffee, I’m always palate training (that’s what us Perrys like to call it). I love to cook and try new recipes or go out and eat at all types of restaurants. I love wine, whisky, beer, cocktails, and always more wine (so much so that I became a certified sommelier!)

And after all the palate training, I run (sometimes). I will actually be running a half marathon in May to raise money for a trip to Kenya!

Though she has all kinds of responsibilities as Director of Retail Development, Holly loves jumping behind the bar and making drinks.

Though she has all kinds of responsibilities as Director of Retail Operations, Holly loves jumping behind the bar and making drinks.

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.