At Cafe Campesino, creating a caring global community starts at home. We strive not only to treat one another with dignity and respect, but also to promote teamwork, to celebrate each other's achievements, and, of course, to have fun. The Cafe Campesino team includes:
Mary Thornburgh: BaristaBorn in Northern California and raised at Koinonia Farm, it's no surprise that Mary holds a passion for social justice issues and is working towards a sociology degree. She feels most at home hiking or camping at outdoor havens like Pine Mountain and Providence Canyon (both within 100 miles of Americus), and the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville are calling her back for her next big trek. Her favorite tasks as a barista are making lattes and doing latte art; she is currently mastering tulips, rosettas, and swans courtesy of countless YouTube videos.
Joshua Katz: Barista
Joshua is clearly our on-the-ground Renaissance man. Among his admitted strange and unrelated life skills are knife throwing, gymnastics, champion kayaking, karate green-belt, and award-winning poetry writing. Who knew?? This Marietta native had a bit of culture shock when he landed here in Americus, what with everything closing at 8PM. Thankfully, he's quite occupied these days going through the rigors of the Accelerated Nursing Program at GSW, which he hopes to finish by spring of 2015. A lifelong coffee drinker, he morphs towards all Ethiopian blends especially Ethiopian Sidamo Natural.
Nancy Aparicio: Production Manager
Nancy is a roaster & cupper extraordinaire who is not at all daunted by the extreme pressure and stress of her upcoming 5th insanely busy Christmas retail season. She balances all those caffeinated coffee fumes emanating from the roastery with calming chamomile tea. When not in perpetual roast-pack-ship mode with her two production colleagues, Nancy can be found doting on her 4 month old son, Gael. Her next vacation is going back to Seaside/Santa Rosa, Florida, which she relishes for its architecture, beauty, sand, and walkability.
Dave Campbell: Customer Service Manager
Dave is a North Carolina native who did a rewarding 2-year stint at Koinonia and then naturally eased over to Cafe Campesino. Here he impressed one and all by his experience with web stuff and his ability to lift heavy coffee bags . Alas, the staff continues to be enthralled by the calculator that seems to be embedded in Dave's brain as well as his zeal for finding a good bargain on the internet. In his spare time, he home-brews his own beer, is a fantastic vegan cook, and swills lots of Critical Mass blend.
Nema Etheridge: Sales & Marketing Manager
Nema can clearly remember the first time she walked through the doors at Cafe Campesino: two men in camouflage overalls were drinking coffee as Salsa music pumped out over the sound system. That neat combination of Southern and international flair lured her to become an intern and later a staffer. She holds Americus in high esteem due to its sense of community, ample volunteerism, and social justice origins and legends. Nema joined a Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip to Ethiopia in 2013 (where she also did coffee work), would love to do a summer cycling tour of Quebec, and once spent a year in France as a nanny.
Alyssa Bell: Coffee House ManagerA lifelong coffee shop patron who can still remember the most outstanding hot chocolate in Florence, Italy, from a trip 8 years ago, Alyssa is intrigued by the culture of coffee shops. Specifically, when in Atlanta or other locales, she intentionally visits at least 2-3 coffee shops to compare service, decor, and ambiance. She also has a penchant for small space gardening, intends to get into pickling, and hopes to travel to Peru when Cafe Campesino goes next May. Her current single origin favorite? Ethiopia Yirgacheffe.
Marcia Dupree: Bookkeeper
Marcia exudes flair, class, and order to both colleagues and customers alike. She parlays her years spent in banking as a Controller and HR Supervisor to keep the accounts of Cafe Campesino organized and accurate.....and free of coffee spills. She relishes having all her family locally in Americus, started raising chickens last spring (and gives away tons of free-range eggs), and counts her best vacation as a 2009 trip to Montana and Wyoming with her husband and one of her daughters. Her next big trip? Taking the grandkids to Disney World.
David Minich: Travel Program Manager
David is our official in-house Grateful Dead aficionado and aptly claims tie-dye as his favorite color. When not loitering as a groupie at music festivals listening to long jam sessions, this old-soul hippie can often be found fishing contentedly with his 6-year old grandson Jonah or kayaking somewhere in the tri-state area. His niche at Cafe Campesino is orchestrating the special events truck and trailer. And, he's in the throes of launching the 2014 series of Coffee & Culture Group Tours to our farmer co-op countries. Ultimately, he envisions Americus as the breeding ground, incubator, and hub for creative entrepreneurial development.
Itzel Reyes: Production Assistant
Itzel celebrated her first year at Cafe Campesino this November and has been constantly enthralled with the whole process of Fair Trade coffee production and how it involves so many different hands at so many different places. This Mexico native is indeed a coffee drinker herself and pays homage to her homeland by sticking with Mexico Full City Roast as her favorite due to its nutty, chocolate tones. She has a 6 year old son who has boundless energy, just returned from an action-packed trip to California (including visits to the Golden Gate Bridge AND Disneyland), and hopes to do a repeat Spring Break jaunt to Daytona Beach in 2014.
Karen Montano: Barista & Production Assistant
Bill HarrisCafe Campesino's Bill Harris defines Fair Trade as "business by the golden rule, treating others as you would hope to be treated." Bill began Cafe Campesino in 1997 after seeing firsthand the benefits that Fair Trade can offer small-scale farmers. Ever since then, Bill says he hasn't had a dull moment. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial management, Bill envisions continued growth for Cafe Campesino. "In 10 years, maybe we'll be a household name; maybe?!" he comments with a grin. Regardless, he foresees the company continuing on a successful path and one day being jointly owned by satisfied farmer-partners, workers and customers. Bill keeps himself energized and motivated by regularly talking with other Fair Traders. He also enjoys a good cup of coffee every now and then (he favors the wild, musky, exotic taste of the Sumatra)! When he wants to relax, Bill bikes, canoes or reads, and he's always up for traveling when he gets the chance.
Geoffrey HenniesGeoffrey Hennies, AKA Peaceful Traveler, discovered Cafe Campesino while volunteering at nearby Koinonia Partners, our first, and one of our largest wholesale customers. Over the last 15 years, he has followed a path of simple living while offering service to communities and individuals across the country. Apart from organizing our outreach events, he is also organizer of Cafe Campesino's web presence along with other social justice organizations with Lowthian Design Works. After spending 2-1/2 years helping groups with their rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, Geoffrey is back on the road. If you have a good project for him contact him on his website.
Tripp Pomeroy"If there is one thing I want Cafe Campesino customers to know, it is that roasting and delivering the best fair trade coffee in the country isn't enough," says Tripp Pomeroy, Board Member and former President. "In order for us to truly make a difference, we need to ensure that the Cafe Campesino "experience" is a uniquely positive one...consistently. Our customers should feel satisfied, if not energized, by their interaction with Cafe Campesino. Ultimately, developing great relationships with our customers is part and parcel to building and sustaining the great relationships we have with our producers and making Fair Trade flourish." Tripp is a long-time friend of Bill, whom he met while volunteering with Habitat in 1989-1990. He has more than 15 years of working experience in business and new venture development and management, international trade, sales and marketing and communications. He has lived and worked in Mexico and Paraguay (where he met his wife) and has worked on a variety of business ventures in Argentina, Brazil and Italy. He is fluent in Spanish. "Based on my experience in Latin America and the Caribbean," Tripp says, "Fair Trade is one of the most effective ways to instill ethical, compassionate and transparent business practices in a world where they are sorely lacking, at the expense of so many good people." In his free time, Tripp enjoys landscaping, reading, throwing horseshoes and playing with his little critters, which include two children and a fun loving cat.
Other Staff Members