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.
Last year, our preferred espresso machine partner La Marzocco introduced a brand-new competition called Crush The Rush. Typical coffee & latte art competitions can get serious, so La Marzocco wanted to do something different – something fun – that focused on speed, efficiency, and community. With this Crush The Rush was born.
This year, Nashville was chosen as one of the 5 hosting cities, and several coffee companies from the Louisville area made the trip down to compete, including our own team (known as Space Kats and Demon Dogs) of Joe Dininger (HB’s Training/QC Manager), Georgia Lacy (shop manager at Vint), and Layne Sanders (assistant shop manager at Vint). They were accompanied by Tess Lindsey (shop manager at HB-Blankenbaker Pkwy) and Evan Cooke (HB’s Digital Marketing Coordinator) to document the event (and maybe for emotional support as well). In the end, Space Kats and Demon Dogs walked away with the Second Place prize!
We asked them a few questions about the event:
The Community Foundation of Louisville hosts Give For Good Louisville, the biggest day of local giving, this Thursday September 12. With budgets being cut all around, this year’s Give For Good Louisville could be the most important ever. Through matching donation prizes, community members can have their donations made even more impactful for the groups that make our community a great place to live, work, and play. Check out #GiveForGoodLou and www.giveforgoodlouisville.org for more information.
Impact is one of the four Core Values here at Heine Brothers’, and we’re lucky to have a staff that also see that as an important part of everyday life. We asked our staff about some of the non-profits that they support, and here is what they said:
Today is extremely hot and humid, like many of us have experienced, the Kentucky sun beats down relentlessly. I find my way through Cherokee Park and get lost down the many side streets and alleys of the Highlands area. Though this area is quite familiar to me I am surprised to find myself on streets I had never been before. That’s the beauty of the Highlands, its labyrinth effects cease to disappoint. After a lap around the block and some blasting AC I find the house where Ben lives. I am not quite to the door when I here a beckoning meow. Ben let’s me in and I am immediately greeted and introduced to his sweet cat, Harper. Though Ben shows me around, Harper truly outshines him as the welcoming committee. We sit and begin talking about Ben’s time at Heine Brothers’.
It’s cloudy and gray on this Friday morning, but the students from Western High school are excited to be at Heine Brothers headquarters. They each doctor up their own cup of coffee; some take theirs black, while others add caramel and milk. After the students are settled in their seats, Alec Risch, the Head Roaster and Director of Coffee, starts talking about the coffee plant.
From the outside it is hard to tell just how ingenious and creative Monica Mahoney’s home is. When entering you can feel the warmth from a crackling fire while a small cat named “biggie” brushes against your legs. The floor plan is completely open and full of small details. I was surprised when Monica revealed to me that the home used to be a general store for the neighborhood. Pictures are hung in the hallway of the store and as you turn to see the space before you it is delightfully shocking. What used to be rows and rows of shelves and countertops, has now become a warm and inviting home, full of art, life, and spirit.