Monthly Archives: June 2014

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Dean Borgerding

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.

Last, but certainly not least, I bring you the DEAN.

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Dean has resided in Houston off and on since 1998. Before that, he spent most of his life overseas due to his father’s job in the oil business. After completing high school and a taste of college, he joined the Army as an active duty soldier for the next four years as an MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) crew-member. After receiving an honorable discharge, he moved back to Texas and re-enlisted with the Reserves as an MP (military police) for another three years. He began his food and beverage career at various establishments as well as continuing his higher education at the Art Institute of Houston for Computer Animation. After a couple of years, he transferred to the University of Houston to pursue a painting degree. Shortly after he transferred, he found out that he was having a child, well not him but his partner Jacki.

His food and beverage history began in a little coffee shop known as Kaldi’s. It doubled as a sandwich shop and the only non-commercial cafe in Huntsville, Texas.  Like many things in Huntsville, it no longer exists.

Fast forward a bit to a time of extra hot lattes, upside-down caramel macchiatos and burnt coffee. Dean spent two and a half years grinding that little, green siren’s beans. He took many things from that time, specifically how to expedite long lines and what not to do with an espresso machine.

The next stepping stone took the form of a small, off the beaten path cafe with religious undertones. Taft Street Coffee is where he first began meeting the people that would have lasting effects in regards to the type of Barista he would become. A coffee shop inside a church provided a well of interesting experiences, some good and others, not so much. In the end, the space worked it’s way into a lot of people’s lives.

Dean began his employment at Paulie’s in November 2011. His current position at Paulie’s is Beverage Director and Assistant Manager which makes him the individual who is responsible for Paulie’s tasty beer, wine and coffee selections.

While at Paulies, Dean was shortly employed at other well known Houston shops. He bartended and crafted coffee at Double Trouble in Midtown under the Robins. He was also part of the opening crew at Blacksmith which is housed in the old Mary’s location. These employment opportunities also added to his knowledge of coffee beverages.

Outside of Paulies, he spends time with his partner and daughter. Museums, Menil park, coffee shops and local restaurants are where they like to get into trouble. He is sometimes seen toting a digital Nikon or some other hipster approved film camera. If you find him at home, he will most likely be caught purging his internet history of online hat shopping, trying to cook and making sure his daughter doesn’t leave the nest with subpar musical taste. His love of coffee is only fully illustrated by the fact that every night he prays to his made-up African coffee god while holding a rosary he constructed out of coffee beans. “Praise be to Coffea Arabica and a thousand blessings on your espresso!”


Paulie’s Counter Culture – Rebecca Qian

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.

 

Becca has one of the strongest work ethics I’ve seen at this restaurant, always ready for the next challenge! 

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Rebecca Qian started with Paulie’s nearly two years ago. She is currently known as the “Cookie Monster” as she spends most of her time baking and helping customers plan their customized shortbread order. If you have placed an order for cookies in the past year, you have probably corresponded with her. She loves the challenge of exceeding customers’ expectations, no matter the theme, especially characters from the movie Frozen…

What attracted her originally to Paulie’s was the opportunity to learn coffee with Greenway Coffee.  She has come a long way from the day when the steam-wand was a foreign object. Her first goal was to win a community Latte Art Throw-down competitions. She has since accomplished that goal, in addition to becoming the 2014 Champion of the Paulie’s Latte Art Tournament.

Outside of work, Becca is a full-time post-bac student at University of Houston. She focuses on nutrition in hopes to obtain her Registered Dietician Certification. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Cognitive Studies and minor in Corporate Strategy and Chinese. Becca has worked in Research and Healthcare in Chapel Hill, Nashville and Philadelphia.  She stands by her dream to one day change the way people eat and see food.  She understands that the food and beverage industry has a huge impact on how people eat.  Right now she is learning all she can at Paulie’s and school.  She hopes to continue her studies at the VA hospital program to obtain her internship and Master’s in nutrition.

She has a great deal of restaurant experience for her age.  As much as she loves being in new cities meeting new people she finally felt at home in Houston.  She fell in love with the weather, people, and really just everyone at Paulie’s!

She has a slight obsession with Hello Kitty, elephants, sundresses, and Capoeira. A part of her will always believe that if she was given a really awesome cape and tiara she could save the world one day…with the help of delicious food!


Paulie’s Counter Culture – Rachel Tieken

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.

We are getting closer to the end now, only a few more left to learn.

 

Rachel is the natural artist in the group, with a great talent to freehand what most have to trace.  She is a very mature and responsible young woman, yet the youngest on our team.

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Hailing from Shiner, Texas, Rachel Tieken joined the Paulie’s crew in March of 2013, 8 months after she moved down to Houston to be with her fiancé (now husband) and attend the art school at University of Houston. This is her first gig in the service industry; and she couldn’t imagine a better start. The smell of the quality coffee in the morning, the warm noise of the kitchen, and her coworkers have made working at Paulie’s much more than just a job.

Besides working at Paulie’s, she also creates chalk compositions for businesses and individuals around town with her steady hand and balanced eye. She spent one summer working for the Texas Department of Transportation, during which she was privileged to drive down and document every state road and countryside in a nine-county region.

When she is not behind the bar she paints and draws, crafts ceramic and textile objects, and wanders about outside admiring the colors and textures of Houston. She is proud to be a native Texan (and especially proud to be a native of Shiner), and forages plants from around her hometown to make naturally dyed fabrics. She also enjoys quilting–in the old-fashioned way–and sewing, wrapping presents, restoring antique furniture, and finding small beautiful objects. Her dense and wholesome food–especially her cakes–are in high demand, and usually high in butter content.

Walking around the countryside, gently exploring the sights and sounds, smells and tastes, of gravel roads and finding turtles after the rain, of ladybugs and all things that squirm and crawl and creep, of cactus and ferns and moss, of ripe dewberries and fried food, is the way that Rachel wants to spend her time. When she isn’t outside, just looking, she’s making something, or loving something that someone made by using it for what it was made for. She seeks to find the little human imperfections, the little mistakes and dirt in things, which makes everything alive and magical.


Paulie’s Counter Culture – Jenna Cash

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.

 

Jenna is a woman of many talents, and never afraid to get her hands dirty…The rumor is, Jenna is kin to Johnny Cash.

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Jenna moved to Houston about two years ago from Brooklyn, New York with two Rubbermaid containers and a few guitars.  She was here for barely a week before answering a job ad and interviewing with Paul.  Paulie’s was her first real introduction to Houston, Texas.  She liked it so much she decided to stick around.

Jenna grew up in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, a small town three hours south of Chicago.  Jenna still grew up in the kitchen.  Her best friend’s father owned a small restaurant and catering business in her hometown, and the two young ladies started slinging hash browns at 6AM on weekends while helping with catering events.  In high school Jenna was hired at Panera Bread as a dishwasher.  After a year, and at 17, she became a manager.  She stayed with the company for 2 more years, and assisted in opening five additional locations.  While in New York, she started working at a small coffee shop called Gregory’s Coffee.  Although she had worked with coffee before, this was her first introduction to Specialty Coffee.  Just before leaving Brooklyn, she was managing a restaurant and bar in the Flat Iron District of Manhattan.

Restaurants make up a lot of Jenna’s history and back-story, but that only scratches the surface.  She is a trained massage therapist and worked as an LMT in the state of Illinois for nearly 2 years.  She was the youngest therapist with the fastest growing clientele in her area.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Business in 2010, while residing in Orlando, Florida.  After finishing college, she moved to New York City and interned with well-known photographer, Ron Rinaldi.

Jenna loves music.  Her childhood home was filled with it.  She remembers being little and singing by the piano with her mother.  She was competing in vocal competitions statewide at a young age.  In school she played the trumpet in jazz bands, concert bands, and marching bands.  If it had something to do with music, Jenna was probably there.  In her teenage years, she picked up the guitar and started writing her own music.  She still does.  When she isn’t busy working or playing guitar, Jenna enjoys baking, especially pies.

Jenna lives in Spring, Texas with her boyfriend. They run Kritikos Recording Studio.  Jenna is often running to meetings with artists, grabbing food for grungy recording bands, and breaking down contracts and agreements.  KRS is currently in the process of building a brand new recording studio to accommodate the growing business.