Sanford Bledsoe, You’re Going to Camp!

That’s right, folks, the winner is Sanford (Sandy) Bledsoe of Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a whopping 324 votes!

Happy birthday, Sandy! That's right: today is our Camp Pull-A-Shot winner's 27th birthday.

1,149 votes total were submitted for our Camp Pull-A-Shot video contest, in which 11 baristas from all over the United States submitted videos to be considered by you, the coffee public and fans. 1,149 of you cast votes for our competitors—that’s a crazy huge number of votes!! The grand prize for this contest is an all expenses paid trip to the SCAA and Barista Guild of America’s Camp Pull-A-Shot, the first annual barista retreat. The SCAA and the Barista Guild, and Marcus Boni personally, have made this amazing prize possible. It includes: airfare, all lodging, all meals, and most importantly, all camp workshops. Barista Magazine has been stoked to host this contest, and man, it’s been incredibly exciting!!

Sandy wrote to tell me the other day that the competition has really brought together the barista community in Ann Arbor, that baristas from other shops than his were submitting votes for him and getting pumped about the competition—that’s what it’s all about!

“It isn’t really so much about winning the contest, as having the opportunity to meet and learn from the baristas that I really look up to,” Sandy said, when I asked him what winning would mean to him. “There is just SO MUCH to learn and it’s really awesome to have other people in the industry to turn to.  I really can’t say enough about how supportive the coffee community is.  I’ve made so many friends through coffee, and the whole thing really gives me something to look forward to every day; something to work toward.  So winning the contest wouldn’t really mean as much as the opportunity that winning the contest would create, which is the opportunity to grow as a barista, a professional, and a human being.  I turn 27 tomorrow (today), so I’ve been thinking a lot about growing up, my future, and what my role in the coffee industry is and what it could be.  Right now, I’m just really excited about all the opportunities that coffee holds in the near and distant future.  Does that make sense?  Wait.  What was the question?”

Eleven awesome videos were submitted, and it was truly a pleasure to watch them all. If you haven’t already seen them, I urge you to check them out.

Here are the ranking of the top five videos:

1. Sanford Bledsoe, Video #1, 324 votes

2. Josh Lindstrom, Video #5, 276 votes

3. Cameron Peterson, Video #8, 257 votes

4. Benjamin Turiano, Video #10, 156 votes

5. Sam Brown, Video #2, 147 votes

Congratulations again to all the video entrants, and thanks for playing. And Sandy, I look forward to seeing you at Camp!

About the Author


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.