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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Rich Futrell, Sales & Customer Relations ManagerRich Futrell has been a Counter Culturalist for several years and serves us well as manager of the Sales and Customer Relations departments. Born in the desert (Albuquerque, NM,) and raised in the lion’s den (Chicago), Rich attended Chicago’s Loyola University, where he received a B.S. in psychology. Before joining the Counter Culture fold, Rich pursued an early career in psychology, spending 3.5 years as a Mental Health Worker in a psychiatric intensive care center. Next, Rich owned a successful coffeehouse for 10 years in Raleigh, before heading to Kyoto, Japan, to teach English for one year. In 2005, Rich joined the production team at Counter Culture, and the rest, as they say, is history. Rich’s turn-ons include optimism, a sense of humor, fresh food, mad style, and female rock bassists. His turn offs? Whining, mean gossip, and rude behavior.
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
A: Red Mountain and Finca El Puente.
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
A: When I have time to chill, I love a full-bodied Indo made with a Melitta pour over or a Chemex. Otherwise I’m a double shot of Toscano or a bright African (Kenya small lots come to mind) made in the Clover – a very clean and refreshing cup!
Q: Who at Counter Culture Coffee would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
A: [Former Traffic Department employee] Julie … you know why. Bring it, Sheriff!!
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Hmm … I love historical fiction – James Michener comes to mind. Right now I’m reading Salt, by Mark Kurlanski. High Fidelity reminded me of life in my 20’s back in Chicago.
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
A: Besides the usual adventures, good times and R&R, I love playing music with friends, watching hummingbirds from my porch, riding bikes with friends instead of driving, having local adventures… and just, you know, rocking the free world any way I can.
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.
A: First use of coffee – I really wanna try those coffee-berry-fat balls sometime.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Eight years old.
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go, and what would you eat?
A: Djma Al Fna in Marakesch – a bowl of Herera to start, some spicy lamb couscous, a glass of spicy ginger tea, and a fresh pomegranate for dessert.
Q: Which Counter Culture Coffee customer is most likely to see you outside of work (i.e. where do you like to hang out)?
A: I go to Helios in Raleigh a lot. I also like to wrestle with Randal the Enamel Animal at Tyler's Taproom on Tuesday evenings. You should all come for the show sometime.
Q: When you were in Morocco volunteering with the Peace Corps, you spent a lot of time with a group of women weavers. Did your experience with those women help you here at Counter Culture when you became the first male member of the estrogen-charged Customer Relations staff? Any parallels?
A: Hell yeah! I lived in a very rural village in the Middle Atlas Mountains called Guigou and I worked with a group of women I used to call The Berber Lady Gang. They were awesome women—beautiful, tough, and resourceful—and they taught me a whole lot of very cool stuff, just like the CR team here.