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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Ethan Fogleman, Sales Manager
Ethan Fogleman grew up in Graham, NC, in an awesome family – Mom was an educator, Dad was an engineer and general contractor, and brother was a genius – who instilled upon him the values of honesty, hard work, and respect for others. The grandson of a tobacco farmer, Ethan spent many summers on a fully working farm complete with all the vegetables and farm animals you'd expect to see. He saw first-hand how much work went into farming, and it was this experience that ultimately played a role in hooking him on coffee.
Fresh out of business school at North Carolina State University, and months after the passing of his grandfather, Ethan was exposed to the business of coffee and the plight of coffee farmers worldwide. He took a job with a local roaster and was on the ground in Mexico and Guatemala visiting coffee farms within months. He quickly realized his passion for coffee and embraced the role of sharing the farmers' story with others and finding buyers for their crop.Valle Del Santuario .... mmmmmmmm!Always changes ... from Chemex to French press to Moka Pot (that's right, I said it), but I've always been a fan of the pour over. Right now I'm fine tuning my Bonmac Pro Drip Cone (with the Counter Culture Coffee logo, of course) and loving this fancy Takahiro kettle.Well, Daryn Berlin, of course, just so he knows what's up. I'd be afraid Jernigan's arm would fall off, and I'd hate to mess up Brian's sweater.Anything Sedaris.My family is the most important thing to me. I have a beautiful little girl named Hayden and an awesome wife, Jessica. So week nights are dedicated to spending the few hours a day I have with them. Other than that, I like working in the yard or in the shop being manly/crafty. Can you say "power tools"?A farmer, of course.I once had the most incredible sushi ever with a top-ranked nun on the back porch of an ancient temple overlooking the Blue Mountains in Japan, Shiga prefecture. I'd love to relive that experience!Living in Hillsborough, I drive through Durham every day. Parker & Otis is always great. I like 3CUPS a bunch, too. If I had my choice, I'd be at The Dripolator in Asheville every day!Uhhhh, that's a tough one. That's kind of like asking what's my favorite coffee. I suppose if you throw all the Bonnaroo Festivals and other festivals out the door, Phish in Reynolds Coliseum stands out. Phoenix or Hartford is probably the furthest we've been to see a big show, but maybe the Gorge Amphitheatre (George WA) this year!
During college, Ethan worked as a bartender at the Warehouse in downtown Raleigh where he met his beautiful wife, Jessica – who is still waaay out of his league. They were married in 2005 and had a beautiful baby girl, Hayden, in 2008. After taking a job with Counter Culture Coffee in July of 2009, Ethan moved his family to Hillsborough, NC, where they now live. After nearly 11 years in the coffee industry, Ethan is still learning new things and developing his skills in preparation.
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
Q: Who at Counter Culture Coffee would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
Q: What is your favorite book?
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
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.
Learning more and more about La Marzocco machines, their function, and how they're better than every other machine. Multiple Techs and Customer Relations people have chimed in. Ken has been a big help.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go and what would you eat?
Q: Which Counter Culture Coffee customer is most likely to see you outside of work?
Q: You and your lovely wife are road warriors for some of your favorite bands. Tell us about your all-time favorite concert/show? And, what's the greatest distance you've traveled to catch a show?
Q: You grew up on your family's full-time farm. How (if at all) does that experience help you to relate to the many talented coffee growers around from whom Counter Culture buys coffee?
My grandfather had 100 acres and was a tobacco farmer for many years. He grew everything we ate and had all the cool farm animals, too. (Maybe that's why I like pork so much ... nah, got to be the bacon.) I grew up watching the community come together at harvest time and witnessed farm life with all the tools and mechanization we were lucky enough to have access to.
The summer my grandfather died, I learned about the Fair Trade movement and was on coffee farms in Guatemala and Mexico within months. I was hooked, and made it my personal goal to share their stories and connect coffee farmers with retailers and consumers.