Our People

The business of coffee relies on the shared passion of coffee people all over the world. We'd like to introduce you to a few of the standout members of our team.

Jesse Kahn

Jesse Kahn

National Sales Manager


One of the quickest ways to gain insight into Jesse's character is to join him for a meal. Fluent in the national food scene, Jesse is quick to select restaurants and cafes that are pushing the boundaries of the culinary industry. This same preference for unquestionable quality is reflected in his approach to his role at Counter Culture. He pushes himself and others to constantly rise above the status quo and push the potential of our business.

The Sales Leader who Does Not Accept the Status Quo
Lem Butler

Lem Butler

Customer Support


Lem is a coffee hero to many of us. A decorated barista competitor (five-time Southeast Regional Barista Champ, USBC Champion, 4th WBC), he remains generous with his time and quick to lend a helping hand. We at Counter Culture could not be more proud of him for his competition accomplishments but it is the exceptional day-in and day-out support he gives Counter Culture customers that truly sets him apart.

The Inspiring Champion
Ken McDuffie

Ken McDuffie

Technical Support


A 14-year veteran of Counter Culture, Ken is a shining example of positivity. He always has a smile on his face and makes the effort to say good morning to everyone in the office. Not in a, I want to kill time and wander through the office, but in a genuine caring way. He has seen many changes over his tenure at Counter Culture Coffee and he has taken them all on with an extremely positive attitude and demeanor that is infectious!

The Daily Dose of Positivity
Chelsea Thoumsin

Chelsea Thoumsin

Coffee Quality Associate


Chelsea's curiosity is infectious. Throughout her coffee career, Chelsea has taken every opportunity to learn more about coffee's origin and culture. Not satisfied learning in a classroom, she traveled to origin (in her free time!) to learn more about coffee production. She also made use of the Green Fund to teach herself how to keep bees and built a bee hive on the Counter Culture Philadelphia roof! A student of life, she keeps us on our toes.

The Curious Bee Keeper
Steve Ford

Steve Ford

West Coast Production Manager


Steve exemplifies many of the values of Counter Culture but most importantly, Steve knows how to get the job done right. As the head of production in Emeryville, Steve is at the forefront of operations for Counter Culture on the West Coast. Over the course of his tenure, he has helped avert numerous disasters through his insane focus on the details and dedication to thoroughness. We feel safe with Steve at our helm!

The Thorough Leader
Ben Horner Head Roaster

Ben Horner

Head Roaster


Ben is known as the mad scientist behind roasting. On any given Friday, when a Tasting at Ten tour is happening at our Headquarters, Ben can be found explaining the scientific dynamics of roasting while furiously drawing diagrams on a chalk board. Ben is constantly seeking new ways to push the potential of our quality and roasting, with a strong desire to share his knowledge with those around him.

The Mad Scientist, Pushing Potential