Brian Fairbrother—one of the longest-time barista fixtures in Seattle—died on Thursday after sustaining head injuries in a bike accident that occurred on August 30. A barista with Vivace since 1989, Brian was beloved by many, from both the industry and consuming side of specialty coffee, and will be sorely missed.
“He created a balanced organization to counter my impulsiveness,” Vivace co-owner David Schomer told the Seattle Times in a recent article. “If I had a good training with somebody, I’d give them a raise. Brian said, ‘You can’t do that. You have to be very systematic.’ ”
David Schomer co-owns Vivace with Geneva Sullivan. When Schomer and Sullivan divorced a few years ago, they made Fairbrother a shareholder because they were confident he could be a fair voice of reason if there were any future business disagreements.
“He was so perfectly trustable,” Sullivan told The Seattle Times. “When Brian said something to you, it was a very kind honesty, but you knew you were getting the story. You never had to read between the lines with the man.”
Fairbrother sustained head injuries during a bike accident on August 30 in Seattle. Customers, co-workers, friends, Schomer and Sullivan, will miss him dearly. And the barista community as a whole, has lost a role model. Rest in peace, Brian.