Barista Magazine has delighted in supporting the Mid Atlantic Northeast Coffee Conference (MANE) since it first started years ago. Back then, the whole thing took place in a lunchroom, with enthusiastic coffee people from up and down the East Coast squeezing in together to hear from industry experts, and scrambling to play on the few pieces of equipment that could fit in the room.
It started as a joint project between Troy Reynard of Cosmic Cup in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Gerra Harrigan, then of New Harvest Coffee Roasters in Providence, Rhode Island. Gerra and Troy had a vision to create a small gathering for professional baristas and cafe owners as an informal forum for networking, exploring equipment, and being inspired by industry leaders.
Since it was founded, lots of similar events have started up, such as the SCAA’s Barista Camp, the wildly successful Barista Nation events, the Nordic Barista Cup, and others. But something very special and unique about MANE remains. It’s grown up since those early days: it’s held in a large, bright, airy warehouse space in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, these days, and it attracts several hundred participants from across the country, but primarily from New England. Dedicated sponsors make sure the space is decked out with tons of espresso machines and grinders, manual brew equipment, loads of small wares and allied products, and there’s always a big stack of Barista Magazines for the taking.
I was asked to be the Keynote Speaker a few years back, and I was completely thrilled—and terrified! It was my first ever Keynote. But with such an enthusiastic, dedicated crowd of coffee pros in front of me, I couldn’t help but relax. I spent the weekend getting to know a ton of different people from all sorts of backgrounds, having real conversations (rather than hi-and-bye chats like at trade shows) with industry leaders, and spending a nice amount of time trying new equipment myself.
This year, MANE—to be held September 27–29 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island—is going to be better than ever—consider the Keynote, for example: It’s George Freakin Howell!! Holy crap! This legend will get the ball rolling for what is sure to be the best and most exciting MANE to date!
Check out the lineup of awesome speakers scheduled already:
Teresa Von Fuchs
and me, Sarah Allen!
I can’t wait to go back to Rhode Island to be a part of this very special gathering of industry professionals. As we wait for the schedule to be announced, check your own calendar to see if you can make it to MANE this year. It’s going to be amazing.