10 Minutes With David Morris

David_Mar2014

David J. Morris
CEO
Dillanos Coffee Roasters
Sumner, Washington

What other coffee jobs have you had? 

Let’s see: I’ve been a barista, roaster, packager, delivery driver, trainer, business consultant, author, and CEO—all for Dillanos.

David with the producers at La Rochela, a farm Dillanos works with in Colombia. David tries to travel to the company's coffee producing partners as often as he can.

David with the producers at La Rochela, a farm Dillanos works with in Colombia. David tries to travel to the company’s coffee producing partners as often as he can.

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

Coffee has taken me to many exotic places and led me to meet amazing people, starting with our own staff.  I love walking in the door to work and seeing all of our employees enjoying their day. It’s so gratifying that all 70 staff members truly love their job and each other.

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

Doing exactly what I am doing now. If I won 100 million dollars in the lottery tomorrow, I would be at our Directors meeting Monday morning talking about our newest plans for Dillanos’ future.

Neither David nor the employees at Dillanos takes themselves too seriously—as evidenced by this photo in which David is flying from a balcony onto a pile of mattresses.

Neither David nor the employees at Dillanos takes themselves too seriously—as evidenced by this photo in which David is flying from a balcony onto a pile of mattresses.

Who and what inspires you?

Three people come to mind.

1)   Evel Knievel—He was my childhood hero for his all-out approach to life.

2)   Robert Downey Jr.—For his amazing transformation that shows even when things get bad, you can always come back bigger and better than ever.

3)   My brother, Chris—For his amazing leadership and ability to solve any problem.

The company's namesake: David's son, Dillon.

The company’s namesake: David’s son, Dillon.

What are you drinking right now? 

A double short Tito’s Vodka and soda. If we’re talking coffee, then it is whatever exotic coffee our Roast Master, Bjorn, makes me in our lab every morning. Today it was our Indonesian Micro-lot Pak Dad.

This photo was taken recently, when David and several others from Dillanosaccompanied Laila Ghambari on a buying trip in El Salvador. Laila used this coffee from Dillanos to win the Northwest Regional Barista Competition a few weeks later.

This photo was taken recently, when David and several others from Dillanosaccompanied Laila Ghambari on a buying trip in El Salvador. Laila used this coffee from Dillanos to win the Northwest Regional Barista Competition a few weeks later.

Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?

I’ve had a lot of unique and memorable adventures at origin. But the craziest coffee experience was Coffee Fest in Hong Kong. I won’t mention all the gory details, but we crammed two weeks of wild fun into three incredibly eventful days—including two emergency room trips in one night for injuries requiring stitches sustained by two in our party of four.

On that trip to El Salvador, David tore his meniscus, and had some fun with his doctor-recommended scooter in the Dillanos offices later.

On that trip to El Salvador, David tore his meniscus, and had some fun with his doctor-recommended scooter in the Dillanos offices later.

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

Tons of movies, riding my motorcycles, spending time with family, and working on our latest business book, The Rolling Desk, due out early summer.

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.