You may have gotten used to seeing those cans of Phocus in our store, but did you know that Phocus got it start right here in Louisville? John Mittel was born and raised in Louisville and was on his way to getting a medical degree from the University of Louisville. He had been working jobs here and there for his mentor Tom O’Grady, when they became really close. One day Tom showed John an article that had just come out about a popular energy drink that was particularly high in sugar. The drink had done extremely well on the market despite its unsavory ingredient list. This really resonated with John since he had been trapped each semester in UofL’s library studying for exams. Day after day John would have to choose from a dismal selection and reluctantly push those vending machine buttons for a drink he knew could do better.
Layne is a literal bright spot when you walk into Vint – her hair has awesome teal streaks and she’s usually wearing cheerful colors – but it’s her open and friendly demeanor that really puts the sunshine in your day.
“Layne has been with us for a few months, but she’s already an amazing barista!” Georgia, her manager at Vint Coffee, raves. “In her spare time, she works with horses at the barn she rides at.”
Not only will she tell you about the latest true crime podcast she’s listening to, Layne can also tell you some great stories about her 2 horses and her travels. Stop by to say hello – Layne’s not horsing around when it comes to pouring a great latte!
How long have you been working at Vint?
I’ve been working here for around a year and a half.
Louisville Native or Transplant?
Transplant. I’m from Asheville, NC.
How do you spend your time, when you’re not hanging out at Vint?
I’m pretty much either working for hanging out/working at the barn where my horses are. Also hanging out with some of my great coworkers!
Fair trade is so important for farmers as well as buyers of coffee beans. It allows organizations like Maya Vinic to give hands on support and education to farmers. Maya Vinic has made it a top priority to work with farmers on a local level. They see the importance of incorporating local language and culture, as well as respecting the forms of self government that communities maintain. Maya Vinic is a Cooperative Union of 700 coffee farming families that grow and produce coffee beans from over 34 regions within the highland communities of Mexico.
If you have ever met Ashley Ray you know just how cute her pigtails are, how bright her smile can be, and the amazing energy she brings to HB-Shelbyville Road. Ashley manages the store and has created such a warm and welcoming environment for both the employees and customers. It was so much fun to sit down and talk about what makes her so great! When I first arrived at her home I was introduced to her adorable pup Mickey and her kind boyfriend, Mickey. She was quick to tell me that, yes the dog came before the boyfriend! Ashley and Mickey were kind enough to play me some of their beautiful songs, which served as a lovely start to a fun interview.
Where are you from?
I am from Louisville, but I have lived in Indiana for a pretty long time.
What is your favorite drink?
Black coffee, I really like the Peru Coyona
If you have ever been in a locally owned store in Louisville, you know just how enriching they can be for our community. They add color to our surroundings, and fuel a sense of uniqueness among our neighborhoods. It was amazing to learn about an organization that helps keep these businesses thriving. Though it is easy to see local stores all around us, you might not know that there is an organization that supports these businesses and helps educate the community on how important local businesses can be. The Louisville Independent Alliance has made this their mission, and I had the pleasure of sitting down with the Director, Jennifer Rubenstein, to learn more about their great work.