Paulie’s Counter Culture – Paul VanDemark

Paul is a Yankee by way of Alma, Michigan, but we’ve adopted him as a Houstonian.


Alma is a very small town, around 10,000 people; his high school class was around 150 students.  Paul was into sports, mainly football and wrestling, but he also played basketball and found a late, but strong, interest in Ultimate Frisbee.  He wrestled from 4th – 10th grade before he decided to take football training more seriously.

After High School, Paul moved to Upland, Indiana, another very small rural town, to attend Taylor University.  He graduated with a BA in English Literature.  He also played football in college, but gave it up after grades came in freshman year.  Taylor University focuses strongly on community and building life long relationships.  When Paul got married in 2013, his best man and groomsmen were all college friends.

One of Paul’s most favorite experiences while at Taylor was being the President of the Integration of Faith and Culture. He scheduled concerts, hosted authors and other figures for speaking engagements, and showed movies to create a dialogue on campus that otherwise would not have existed.  This experience drove Paul to Texas after college to attempt to work with live music.

After only a few months of moving to Houston, Paul landed work with some of the biggest artists in the world and helped put on the largest live music event in Houston. After working in live music for three years, and becoming a married man, Paul decided to pursue a job that includes his second love, coffee.  His wife teases that vacations are often not the most exciting because he is always dragging her to local coffee shops.  Basically that’s what has brought him to Paulie’s.  He also loves pasta, but coffee is his true love behind the counter.

The mysterious lady mentioned, his wife, is named Alice.  They live with only one pet, Puppy, which is an energetic golden colored long-haired Chihuahua mix.  They live in The Heights and like walking Puppy in the neighborhood and on the bike path nearby.  They also attend Sojourn Heights, a bible based Acts 29 network church.  Alice helps by serving on the media team and Paul helps prepare and serve coffee to the congregation. They met while attending Sojourn before the church plant was able to afford it’s own building.  Paul would help set up chairs and get the PA tuned and mics checked.  Alice would help set up slides for songs and microphones each Sunday: over time they became friends, and later husband & wife.  Paul & Alice still attend and greatly enjoy the community they have found within the church.  Every Wednesday they get together with a group of friends from church and have dinner, jet him know if you ever want to join!

About pauliepetro

Restaurateur, Connector, and Food & Beverage community supporter View all posts by pauliepetro

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