Eric Harris was born in Houston, Texas in the Meyerland area. After a long childhood in China and experiences all around our great city, he once again lives in West Houston. He was a crafty child, eager to participate in every hands-on creative hobby (except quilting: “I got tired of measuring,” he says).
Eric’s time in southeast China made him an independent and self-reliant person, allowing him to focus on his growing devotion to reading and crafting. He also gained an appreciation for Asian food, which he loves to this day (though his dad was a fan of the American barbecue place in the city). However, it was in high school that Eric’s love of food blossomed. With his new driver’s license and bright red coupe, Eric could traverse the city to look for the best Chinese cooking reminiscent of his childhood. He also found an appreciation for cooking at home. “I was particularly good at baking,” Eric says. “I was constantly making different types of breads and cookies for my friends.” He began creating great culinary experiences in unlikely places, once even bringing a meal from home to the Galleria ice rink for an impromptu picnic.
It was during this time that Eric’s coffee horizon expanded as well. Out of the house, Eric could pursue new beverages, and soon realized his love of espresso beverages. He began searching the city for the perfect cup of joe. Day after day, Eric and his friends packed into his coupe, making lists and googling new places through which to explore Houston’s cafe culture.
After high school, Eric enrolled in general classes at HCC, eager to figure out his passion. In fact, Eric wanted to start in fashion. Realizing this wasn’t a feasible option, Eric tried to connect another hobby of his with a possible future career. He began taking classes in Chemistry after realizing that he could expand his boundless knowledge of perfumes with a scientific background. In addition, Eric took classes in traditional Japanese tea ceremony, through which he performed at the Japanese Festival in Herman Park. During this time, he began working at Central Market in the fish department. Despite not being a huge fan of seafood, Eric was resourceful and made the most of his experience. “Being in the fish department and not liking fish gave me the confidence to conquer any challenge in the service industry,” says Eric. He moved to the bulk department, where he could learn more of the background of coffee roasting and tasting. He also learned about beer and wine from his coworkers, further expanding his beverage repertoire. He would later use this knowledge while working at Whole Foods Market and Triniti Restaurant.
Never one to give up on his hobbies, Eric is following his other, other, other passion: music. He was surrounded by music in childhood as his mom jammed Metallica while baking (though his first cd was Aquarium by Aqua). Now, Eric is becoming a DJ under the moniker Jarmangad.
Eric has fond memories of Paulie’s — he came to the restaurant on his first date with his current boyfriend, over four years ago. Eric is excited to be at Paulie’s on the other side of the counter, serving artisan coffee and delicious food to the city he calls home.