The business of coffee relies on the shared passion of coffee people all over the world, and this section is dedicated to introducing the members of our diverse, dynamic supply chain. Here we ask a few fun questions of our partners at origin, our employees, and our customers; and we share their answers with you so that you can get to know them like we do—in their own words.
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Joseph Welsh, Controller
Joe Welsh was born in East Meadow, NY, where he played basketball and soccer as a kid. At the age of 12, his family moved to Medford in southern New Jersey, which was a bit of a culture shock from the cement jungle he'd known. Joe had never seen so many trees and lakes before. Joe continued to play sports, and even added baseball to his repertoire, but by the time he started his freshman year in high school, he realized that a career in sports was not going to happen. Somehow, Joe had stopped growing in height but increased in width. So, young Joe started looking into other careers. Joe received his B.A. degree in accounting from Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, NC, which is also where he met his lovely wife. The couple has two sons, both of whom will be out the house soon. One is already in college, and the other striking it out on his own in apartment life. Since college, Joe has worked in many industries: energy conservation, waste management, manufacturing, property management, home building … and now coffee. It's Joe's hope that he'll be with Counter Culture for many years to come and he hopes to be an active participant in growing the company.
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
I am currently enjoying Konga from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
I'm a simple guy who likes a richer coffee, so 1922 Mocha & Java hit a chord with me, as does a simple pour over. However, whatever Jeff, Brett, or Ben brew in the morning is always good.
Q: Who at Counter Culture Coffee would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
Thomas Nickles. I am curious to see if his tattoo will change shape from the stress that his arm would be under.
Q: What is your favorite book?
I am not much of a reader, but I would have to say Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
Family, friends, and sports.
Q: Share an interesting fact you've learned about coffee while working at Counter Culture Coffee and name the person from whom you learned it.
Since my knowledge of coffee before joining Counter Culture was limited, I can honestly say I've learned something from everyone in the company. From farming to drinking, I've learned a lot. So, thanks to all of you.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional basketball player.
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go and what would you eat?
Le Touessrok Resort on the Island of Mauritius, and I would order the Asian Seafood Medley at Barlen's Restaurant.
Q: Which Counter Culture Coffee customer is most likely to see you outside of work?
My usual routines don't really take me to our customer's often, but I am talking to the people where I go to get them to switch over to us.
Q: We understand you play golf and tennis. Is there a professional athlete in either whom you especially follow? And, is there anyone upon whom your game is modeled?
Growing up I always rooted for Jack Nicklaus in golf and Jimmy Connors in tennis (now that is showing my age). My game is so poor in both sports that it really isn't modeled after anyone, but I've always liked the personal integrity of golf.
Q: It has come to our attention that you collect the "Dickens Village" series from Department 56. How did you get started? How long have you been collecting? And, how many pieces do you have/how big is your village?
I've been collecting Dickens Village for about 20 years. Mostly, early on, not so much as of late. My wife and I were shopping at the Flemington outlets in New Jersey, when I saw the Cobles Police Station. I thought it was neat, so I bought it, and the madness began.
I currently have about 75-plus pieces, and I put the village every Christmas around our tree – complete with a train set running through it.