Monthly Archives: May 2014

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Kevin Mathis

As promised, I am releasing a “resume” of each of my 10 Baristas at Paulie’s, one per week. We have a talented bunch behind our counter, I’d like to share their stories with you all.

This weeks’s subject is one of our most coffee focused baristas, and a bad-ass drummer…

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Kevin started with Paulie’s in the Summer of 2012. He is a native Houstonian, born and raised in Cypress. Kevin was home-educated his whole life, graduating in 2009. In his high school years, he acquired his first job at Barnes and Noble Café where he cut his teeth in the service industry. There came his first taste of working behind the counter, and the craft of coffee. He began studying the art of coffee and fell in love with Houston specialty coffee shops. He was fascinated with the idea that coffee could be more than a hot, bitter, black beverage. Coffee can actually be prepared in a way that showcases the nuances and complexity of the beverage.

After high school, Kevin began pursuing a nursing degree at UT Austin. There he began working at Caffe Medici on Guadalupe, across from UT campus. Here he received his first in-depth training in preparing espresso. Kevin slung lattes for little over a year for the caffeine –crazed students of UT. Medici was a high volume shop doing hundreds of covers a day and it put his new skills to the test.

In the spring of 2012, Kevin moved back to his hometown. While in Houston, Kevin was introduced to Paulie’s through Greenway Coffee. Paulie’s gave Kevin the opportunity to continue to hone his barista skills while learning the ins-and-outs of food service. Kevin also took a second job at Blacksmith, and then Greenway Coffee to dial in his coffee skills. Working solely at Paulie’s now, Kevin greatly values everything learned through Blacksmith and Greenway.

When Kevin is not behind the counter he enjoys watching baseball, playing (and watching) golf and playing music. A drummer for eight years, he loves listening to and experiencing different genres of music. From classic country, 60’s psychedelic, garage, jazz, heavy-metal, and hip-hop. He also enjoys cooking and constantly trying new recipes at the house. He’s a beer-nerd, a bocce player, amateur carpenter and a jack-of-all-trades; a renaissance man if you will.


Paulie’s Counter Culture – Cole Kirby

As promised, I am releasing a “resume” of each of my 10 Baristas at Paulie’s, one per week. We have a talented bunch behind our counter, I’d like to share their stories with you all.

 

Our newest story comes from our newest employee, who is excelling quickly.

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Cole grew up in a town of less than 1,200 people and graduated high school in a class of 34 students. Naturally, he moved from the rural community near Waco to Austin so he could attend one of the most diverse schools in the world: the University of Texas at Austin, “Hook ‘Em!” After three and a half years of stress, fun, growing, and possibly even some learning, Cole graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies in December of 2013.

During his final semester at UT, Cole was constantly pondering what would follow this college career. With a desire to eventually pastor and possibly plant a church, but not much desire to leave undergrad to enter into a seminary program, he found myself in between a rock and a hard place. Cole wanted excitement and training in doing pastoral ministry. On one particular weekend, he made the drive to Houston to visit a best friend from college. His friend lived in this really funky neighborhood called Montrose and was serving at a new church plant called Sojourn Montrose. Moreover, he was living with the pastor and his wife. As Cole met folks in the neighborhood and heard more about this church plant in the urban center of such a large and diverse city, he knew that this was the experience he needed moving forward.

So, in the first week of January 2014 Cole moved to Montrose to live in a stranger’s dining room, and two days later he began training at Paulie’s. Between the demands and excitements that come with being part of a new church in a neighborhood that is largely without churches, working a new job with an excellent team, and diving head first into the culture of Montrose, Cole seems to be right at home.

His interests and free time in Houston mostly revolve around seeing Sojourn Montrose, conveniently officed on Sundays in the loft directly above Paulie’s, reach their unique neighborhood in a way that is positive and transformative. Cole also love sports, most notably baseball. Through high school, he played 2nd base, centerfield, and shortstop. He also coached a high school summer league team for young men from Lanier High School in Austin.

Cole fills his days off with eating good food, reading good books, being around good people, and playing bad golf. He loves being a part of the Montrose culture not only by working in the food industry, but also through supporting local bars and restaurants.

“My hope is that in my time here in Houston, whether for two years or the rest of my life is that this would be a city not only known for its diversity and economic success, but also one known for setting an example in grace and truth. I truly count it as a blessing to work at Paulie’s and enjoy all of the spoils of being a new Houstonian.”

Great to have you buddy.


Paulie’s Counter Culture – Carlo Magana

As promised, I am releasing a “resume” of each of my 10 Baristas at Paulie’s, one per week. We have a talented bunch behind our counter, I’d like to share their stories with you all.

 

This week’s resume comes from one of Paulie’s most interesting and eclectic employees.

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Carlo has been at Paulie’s for nearly two years. You may recognize him; he looks a little like the actor James Spader– just a little heavier and shorter. He is active in local theater and writes pulp noir novellas that are set in Houston. Unsurprisingly, he considers himself a bit of an artist. I think you will find most baristas nurture little dreams of culture.

Carlo has performed in more than ten shows at the University of Houston Downtown campus, four or so at the Houston Community college main campus and three for local community theaters. Personal highlights include Bottom in Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and Michael Katurian in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillow Man.

Carlo recently won Best Actor award for his performance as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.

Currently, Carlo is beginning a run of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which he will be taking to the International Fringe Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In the mean time, he is also appearing with an improvisational theatre troupe called Her Majestys Players. He appears weekly, every Thursday night at the Alley Kat Bar and Lounge on Main street. The shows are free and energetic.

Carlo also enjoys writing. Two pieces have been published in literary journals and last year he self-published a pulp noir novella called In The Worst Way via Amazon.com. An audio book version is in the works now. He hopes to have a follow up pair of novellas available before this summer.  

His noir novellas take place in Houston. He’s lived in Houston the vast majority of his life. Yes, he’s that annoying brat that is always defending his city. “I’ve always loved this dark, lonely metropolis. I like to say, If Austin is weird, then Houston is strange.”

That I think speaks well to himself. He’s a happy little bohemian pouring coffee turning all his regulars into characters.


Paulie’s Counter Culture – Jon Revere

As promised, I am releasing a “resume” of each of my 10 Baristas at Paulie’s, one per week. We have a talented bunch behind our counter, I’d like to share their stories with you all.

 

The third specimen is one of the US Military, which has instilled discipline and loyalty, Jon Revere.

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Jon has been a part of the Paulies crew since August of 2013. He enjoys interacting with others and offers a sincere, friendly demeanor across the counter. Jon was born in Houston during the early 80s and grew up in Cypress. He comes from a family of four whom have been both influential and supportive of him through his endeavors.

Following high school, Jon began attending Sam Houston State University to further his education.  Debts grew and income became overshadowed which caused Jon to put education on hold to see a new perspective. In 2008, he signed on with the U.S. Army as a field artilleryman. Jon served three years in active service, and one of those years was spent in Afghanistan. He appreciates his time that was spent in service but is grateful it is concluded. In 2011, Jon was honorably discharged from active service and returned to his studies. In the summer of 2013, Jon obtained a BA in History from Sam Houston State University.

Jon brings forth a few experiences with coffee. While in Huntsville, Jon worked as a barista at a small coffee shop, which has since closed, but gave him an introduction to an espresso machine. While in active service, Jon experienced the existence of bad coffee, but noticed his peers seemed to drink it anyway.

During his spare time, Jon enjoys music. He particularly enjoys classic rock, rock, and classical. He also enjoys relaxing with a pleasant meal and a nice glass of wine. When the weather is bright, Jon can be seen on the golf course trying in earnest to improve his game. With friends he is known to try different restaurants, go to the movies, or just stay in and open a board game. Jon’s favorite hobby is going out to a country range and shoot sporting clays.