Joe grew up in Danville, KY, came to Lexington for college, and has found his place here. He, like virtually all Kentuckians, has an incredible amount of state pride, which may explain his love for bourbon.
Buuuuut, bourbon is not his only past-time - he also enjoys writing, keeping up with the local music scene, cooking, reading coffee and beer publications, and making cocktails for friends. He also loves meeting and talking with new people, and catching up with old friends.
He loves working at the shop (and is only 1 of 2 coffee-slingers from the original staff) and in the past 18 months or so he has acquired quite the list of nicknames: JoeBro, SoProJoeBro, Rathbone, and Joey all come to mind. While he has accumulated so many nicknames, he has also accumulated respect and love from the community and from his co-workers.
Joe started out as a part-time barista and over the course of his career at the shop, he has moved from a part-time barista, to full-time barista, to Lead Barista, to the Shop Manager. Through all of this, he started our Coffee Class series, managed a ridiculously quirky coffee shop, and is currently rolling out a new training program to the staff.
And, what does he think of his coworkers: “They are the funniest, most genuine, and deeply weird people I have ever met.”
And without further ado, the super serious questions we asked JoeBro (here are the first few, more to come next week) --- check out below:
1) What drew you to the coffee industry?
You don’t choose the coffee industry, the industry chooses you.
2) Why A Cup of Common Wealth?
At the time I needed a second job, but since working here I’ve rekindled my connection to the city and community of Lexington.
3) What's your favorite coffee drink and why?
Double espresso or a Chemex from one of my favorite coffee companies.
4) What's your favorite non-coffee drink and why?
A great single barrel bourbon, neat or with an ice cube or a well-made Old Fashioned. Kentucky forever.
5) What's your favorite part of being a barista?
Finding out what people like – it’s like detective work – and then making recommendations. Nothing makes my day more than seeing someone’s expression after that first sip of something they end up loving.
6) What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Iced Chai Lattes
7) When is the last time you broke a rule and what was it?
I break my own rules a lot, like ordering something at a restaurant I can make at home.
8) What's something about yourself that you wish more people knew about you?
I’m not as intimidating as people think I am. I take myself a lot less serious.
9) What's your favorite holiday?
National Coffee Day
10) What advice would you give to your 10 year old self?
Find your passions and work hard at everything you do; it always pays off.