Paulie’s Counter Culture – Joshua!

Joshua is a born and raised Houstonian having resided on the east side of town his entire life so far. Growing up, he always seemed more inclined towards the visual and musical arts. While he was very involved in both during high school, he eventually had to make the ultimate decision to focus all his time and energy on Music.

Josh R


He graduated from North Shore Senior High School in 2011 and attended San Jacinto College North before finally transferring to The University of Houston in fall of 2014. There, Joshua auditioned for and joined the Moores School of Music where he pursues his degree in Music Education. While there he has participated in music groups such as the Moores School Percussion Ensemble, University of Houston Steel Pan Band as well as the Spirit of Houston Marching Band. Joshua is also drummer to local post­punk/post­rock band Bearlios. Joshua plays with Bearlios very frequently in the Houston area and have even played at venues such as The Scout Bar, Walters Downtown, Fitzgeralds, Numbers Night Club and The White Swan.

During his free time, Joshua can be found in the Westheimer/Montrose area of Houston hanging out with friends and exploring new coffee shops and bars. Josh finds this area to be the go­to place when it comes to finding new amazing restaurants and bars.

Joshua first heard about Paulie’s from his best friend, Kristina, who had recently began working there. He would visit her during her shifts to say hi and try to playfully distract her while working. While there, he became fond of the restaurant’s very relaxed atmosphere as well as the free cucumber water. It was about a year later when Kristina informed Josh that they were hiring at the restaurant to which Josh responded “sign me up”. Although Josh had no restaurant or coffee experience, the team took him in with open arms and immediately began training on everything food, beer, wine and coffee.

Aside from working at Paulie’s, Joshua also assists and works with the Kempner High School Marching Band where he specializes on working with the Front Ensemble. He also teaches percussion and piano private lessons in the Houston area.

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Sara Kim

Sara is currently a post-bac student studying Biology/ Pre-dental at the University of Houston. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas and can speak fluent Korean. As a child she grew up around food helping her parents at their hole-in-the-wall burger shop on the southeast part of town. Working at Paulie’s definitely brings back childhood memories of growing up in a family business environment.



She can’t imagine living anywhere other than the South because she loves the warm weather, laid-back culture, southern hospitality, and most importantly the amazing food. She enjoys outdoor adventures, reading books and fashion blogs, living a healthy lifestyle, music festivals, and trying new restaurants. Most importantly she loves traveling to new places and immersing herself into different cultures around the world. Her desire to travel the world cultivated when she first went on a European Mediterranean cruise during high school then backpacked through Europe in college. She plans to backpack through Southeast Asia and South America in the near future.


She attended undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a B.S. in Psychology. During her undergrad years is when she fell in love with the city of Austin and hopes to move back there someday. After graduating she took a year off before returning back to school to fulfill her dreams of becoming a dentist. Out of all the possible career choices dentistry interested her the most because it’s a career that is hands on, interactive, and always challenging one to learn and progress. She hopes to have a direct impact on people’s lives by building their self-esteem and confidence one smile at a time.


You can find her exploring different parts of Houston, trying new restaurants and bars, or eating Korean food in Korea-town. She is currently enjoying learning how to cook Korean food from her mother and has mastered a couple of delicious dishes. Working at Paulie’s has given her insight into a new found love for Italian food, wine, and latte art. She hopes to advance from being a novice latte artist and to be able to serve beautiful latte art to the Houston community!

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Vasili Kritikos

Vasili was born right here in Houston Texas in 1995, also the year the Houston Rockets won their second consecutive NBA championship. His parents claim that his Rockets fandom stems from watching the NBA playoffs while his mother was hospitalized during birth.


His grandparents hail from the Greek islands of Chios and Sparta with his father being first generation born here in the states, while Vasili and his two brothers are second generation. Vasili takes pride in his Greek heritage, and has visited Greece twice in his lifetime. He even pursued the art of Greek dancing, and freelances as a Greek dancer at various locations around town.

Many of Vasili’s family members were or are a part of the restaurant industry, and he is no stranger to working in the front and back of house. Throughout his childhood he helped his parents in many of their “Mom’s” franchise restaurants with his duties ranging from working cafeteria style food lines, catering, deliveries, expediting, and shopping for the restaurants. He also has experience bussing and serving which he puts to good use wherever he works.

Vasili graduated high school in 2013, and immediately attended Lone Star College Tomball for two years pursuing an arts degree in music. He changed his major however when he transferred to the University of Houston and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He hopes to practice corporate law in the future and participate in politics at the state and local levels. “What I’ve learned as a young political scientist is the real changes to our everyday lives happen locally. In order to give back to the community and small businesses like the ones that raised me, I want to run for the offices closest to them and that can have the most positive impact upon them.”

Hobbies of his including music, dancing, politics, gaming, and socializing. He is a former clarinet/bass clarinet player through 8 years of middle and high school band. Greek dancing is no stranger to him as growing up in a Greek family taught him many moves and techniques. Politics and political figures have always fascinated him, and he says he wants to make his name amongst “The small list of good Greek politicians”. Technology and gaming has always mesmerized him, and during his time at Lone Star, he worked for 2 years as a sales associate for GameStop. He states that working sales taught him many different things about the service industry than his long history in the restaurant business. Customers and regulars at the store that he worked at were always excited to see Vasili behind the counter, knowing that when he was on the clock, their transactions would be efficient with genuine customer service because of his passion for gaming and his desire to provide the best service possible. Vasili is not afraid to strike up a conversation with strangers, and he always tries to maintain professionality and courtesy to all.

He first heard about Paulie’s through friends of his siblings, and as soon as he started living on campus at the University of Houston, he wanted to be a part of our team. Italian food has always been one of his favorites, and he is a coffee fanatic, always excited to try new brews and roasts. Our shortbread cookies quickly made their way to the top of his favorite list!

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Daniel Perez

Daniel was born in Santa Cruz, California, moved to Sugar Land, TX as a child and claims to be “Texas to the core.” The phrase, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but got here as soon as I could,” definitely applies to Daniel, or so he claims.


At a young age he fell in love with the game of baseball. There was nothing like the rush felt between the lines. Baseball became life. He was obsessed with being the best player he could be. He spent countless hours practicing, often times alone. Dan played baseball throughout high school and was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to play ball in college.

Unfortunately, the dream was short lived as he blew his shoulder out in first semester at North Central Texas College. Forced to get surgery and months of rehab, Dan had to make the decision to give up the dream and call it quits. He transferred to Blinn College in College Station, spent a semester there and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, where he is currently seeking a degree in Business Management.

After baseball, he was left searching for another outlet. Dan picked up the guitar and began teaching himself to play. “It was almost like falling in love with baseball all over again.” He spent hours learning new songs until finally writing his own song. Music has become the next passion. He currently plays bars and venues around the Houston area with his band, The Good Heart. Dan plays rhythm guitar and lead vocals. In between working at Paulie’s and going to school, he dedicates to music. Like many of us, music has always been there to express himself. His hope is that his music can do that for other people. “There is something about music that lets us all know we are not alone in whatever we may be going through and I think that is very special.”

Between working, going to school, or playing music, you can find Dan playing softball and getting together with friends and family to have a good time. There is nothing like a cold beer, good people, and good entertainment.  Dan is also brother-in-law to Paulie’s Beverage Director, Matt Zaldivar.

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Lindsey Morris

Lindsey is a native Houstonian who is returning to Paulies.  She is a well known professional in the Houston coffee community.


We consider Lindsey to be an OB (Original Barista). She spent her teen years in coffee shops and cafes and she was already wrapped up in the world of coffee when the third wave of craft coffees began to emerge.

While Lindsey tried the traditional route to a career, college right out of high school, she discovered quickly that this was not the path for her. She did try. She tried anthropology. She tried history. She tried journalism. She tried philosophy. Even business was just not for her. There was nothing to be passionate about and nothing to get excited about learning. Except coffee.

When Lindsey turned 18, she quickly moved out and moved to the Montrose. She wanted a change from the suburbia of Sugarland. She wanted to be in the thick of the city. She got a job at Agora and found some of her passion. It was here that she had a few customers comment on how they loved the way she made coffee. A light went on in her head. Lindsey started to ponder on the ways to make coffee better for her customers. She even had nightmares about making the cappuccino froth just right.

However it was at Taft Street Coffee that she truly began her education as a barista. It was here that she was introduced to the varieties of craft coffee and began to understand the process of picking and brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

Lindsey, the ever adventurous one, decided to make another bold move. She realized that she needed to see more of the world, to live in a place where she did not know many people, to find out what it life was like on her own terms. While California was amazing, Lindsey learned that you need to move there with a purpose. It makes daily life easier.

Back in Texas, she began working at Catalina Coffee. She was surrounded by a nice machine, a more traditional Italian menu, and a roaster. She learned latte art, proper espresso extraction, pour overs, and other methods. She was even given the opportunity to compete in barista competitions.

Lindsey was most recently roasting for Boomtown Coffee and double timing it at Paulies. Lindsey has a true passion for what she does. While Lindsey is not working, she enjoys playing with her two adorable puppies and she even blows glass.

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Kristina Cunning

Our newest addition to the Paulie’s team – and recently engaged!


Kristina grew up on the east side in the Northshore area of Houston. She always enjoyed science classes in school and taking Biology her senior year got her extremely interested in the subject. She graduated high school in 2011 and started college at the University of Houston that fall as a biology major. Kristina didn’t necessarily have a plan, but as she began to give her future more thought, she realized that she wanted to help people, but wasn’t exactly sure how to pursue it. By the end of her freshman year of college she was an avid home cook and quite passionate about food. She finally started looking into the nutrition field and realized there was a way to combine the things she loved most. She would be able to pursue her scientific interests by learning about the human body and its interactions with food. She would also be able to provide a service to people by helping them create a better relationship with food and hopefully living healthier lives. Kristina is currently 2 classes away from graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nutrition. She plans on furthering her education with a dietetic internship and possibly a Master’s degree in the field. Kristina hopes to become a registered dietitian and eventually work with educating people in underprivileged communities. The one thing her mom always made sure of when she was growing up was that their family had a wholesome meal to eat, something many people are unfortunately unfamiliar with and one of the biggest determining factors for where she’d like to focus in the dietetic field.

Kristina began her first job the summer of her freshman year of college as a Barista at Dolce Delights. The job started her off in the field of hospitality and also exposed her to the coffee shop culture. She really enjoyed working with coffee and eventually found a job with Java Pura Coffee Roasters, a Houston-based coffee roasting company. There Kristina worked as a catering barista. People would hire Java Pura to send baristas with coffee setups (ranging from brewed coffee to several espresso bars) to various venues and serve beverages as needed. Working with Java Pura required a lot of independence and also introduced her to craft coffee.

Kristina has loved cooking and baking for as long as she can remember. She finds that there’s something beautiful about the way food unites people. When she was young, cooking would involve making spaghetti in the microwave or baking tollhouse cookies. As she grew up, her cooking abilities, thankfully, evolved and she developed her own personal style. Kristina began to ask if she could cook dinner for the family or bake cookies for the party she was attending, and realized how great it was to make people happy with her cooking. Recently, she has really gotten into coffee and beer/wine and finds it quite extraordinary how much there is to learn about these subjects. Kristina and her fiancée just purchased their first in-home espresso machine, which they are super excited to start experimenting with. Kristina has always felt strongly connected to nature. When she was a kid you’d practically have to drag her indoors at the end of the day. She likes to disconnect herself from the hustle of the world by camping somewhere beautiful every once and awhile. She really enjoys bike riding, which was her main source of transportation for several years, and also likes playing volleyball, racquetball, swimming and hiking. Kristina is very excited to start gardening and composting and is beginning to work on lessening her carbon footprint by living a more self-sustaining lifestyle. Music has and always will be an important part of her life. She was pretty dedicated to band in school and sometimes misses the feeling playing music gave her. In fact, she just picked up her flute for the first time in a year the other day, and was so happy she could still play a quality sound. When Kristina has the time, she enjoys relaxing by listening to good music. Bluegrass, folk and classic rock are her favorites.

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Haley John

Haley was born in Arlington, TX and moved to Houston when she was 11. Haley currently resides in North Houston with her close friends Sarah, Reese, and their 2 year old daughter Paisley Mae. There, she goes by the name “Hay Hay” and spends her time enjoying life drawing “hoo hoo’s” with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles, and taking care of her best friend, an 8 year old English Bull Terrier named Acacia.


Haley has a love for photography, music, and art. After graduating high school, Haley began working with a photography company in which she photographed a variety of little league sports. She learned a lot on how to operate studio lighting and loved meeting new people on every photoshoot. While working there, Haley met her close friend Inga, who has inspired her to be the artist she is today. Haley is the face of Inga’s photography business, Lady Rouge Studios, where she models different pin up looks Inga whips up. Together, they create beautiful and unique artwork and keep each other sane by utilizing their creativity.

After working as a photographer, Haley began working in retail at Interior Fabrics. Her experience there left her with knowledge on how to calculate yardage for upholstery and window treatments, along with a new found love for interior décor. Sewing is one of Haley’s passions, and brings out her machine every chance she gets. Her mom introduced Haley to sewing machines at an early age and taught her everything she knows. It wasn’t until a few years ago when Haley obtained her own machine, and has not stopped creating since. She enjoys making a variety of items, including draperies and window treatments, pillows, blankets, dog beds, table runners, skirts, bags, fabric notebooks, and rugs. During the Christmas season, you’ll find Haley sewing up a storm of Christmas stockings, all of which are unique in their own way, and only one or two of each pattern are made. Fabric is one of her main art supplies, having a countless number of uses. Haley uses different textures of fabric to paint with, as well as creating a palate to paint on. She also uses fabric to manipulate lighting when photographing, with different colored sheers and textures on lamps. Recently, Haley began printing on fabric, giving her many ideas for future projects.

When Haley isn’t sewing, photographing, or painting, you’ll find her playing her instruments. She has played the flute and piccolo since she was 11, and picked up saxophone last year when her step dad gave her his from high school. For her, there is nothing more peaceful and relaxing than playing her instruments.

Haley is ecstatic to be working at Paulie’s, surrounded by all the creative people of Houston. This is her first time working at a restaurant, and has enjoyed learning about our espresso machine, drinks, and overall aspects of working at in a restaurant. She loves the fast pace environment, while still being able to connect with her customers and meet many wonderful people. In the few weeks of being here, she has already met many talented and interesting people and hopes to meet more friends to play music and create art with.