My name is... A.J. Payne

Coffee roaster, skier, father

Posted 8/15/17

Moving to Colorado

I’m originally from Indianapolis. I moved to Colorado 18 year go to ski. I thought about work second after skiing. I’ve been an agent in the real estate world since 2003. I got into coffee two-and-a-half-years ago. One of …

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My name is... A.J. Payne

Coffee roaster, skier, father

Posted

Moving to Colorado

I’m originally from Indianapolis. I moved to Colorado 18 year go to ski. I thought about work second after skiing. I’ve been an agent in the real estate world since 2003. I got into coffee two-and-a-half-years ago. One of my best buddies bought Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters and he suggested selling coffee in Colorado on wholesale.

Getting into coffee

My role at the shop, Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters in Arvada, is as general manager and in charge of coffee production. I’m also a sales guy. I’m in charge of getting wholesale accounts. Also making sure they stay happy and items sell at the stores. On the cafe side, I oversee a couple other managers that manage the drink side. We originally wanted the shop to be somewhere in between a brewery and coffee shop — play good music. We’re not that stuck up coffee shop. We want to help educate the customer and we’re just super friendly.

The roasting businesses

Roasting is a new hobby for me. It’s something that I just learned how to do eight months ago. But I feel like I picked it up pretty quickly. It’s a lot of fun. I look forward to going to work everyday. Some of my favorite roasts are the Honduran bean — very citrusy and it’s a lighter roast. It’s a different flavor than what most think. And the Ethiopian is my absolute favorite. When you grind the beans and when you take a sip, it’s like you broke open a blueberry muffin.

Hitting the slopes

Skiing is my passion. I’ve got kids now, so it’s harder to get up and go. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the winter. I really look forward to winter. I go to Loveland mostly. I used to be a Vail guy, but Vail has changed as far as their corporate attitude. I also like to mountain bike. That’s my summer time activity. And my kids now. 11 month old and and 3 year old. They’re pretty awesome. I’m gonna take the three-year-old skiing this year.

Combining passions

One cool thing about skiing is recently hooked up with Chris Anthony, pro skier. I met him about a month ago. He has a youth initiative program trying to get kids into skiing and snow science — The Glide Project. He asked me to come up with a bag of coffee beans and use his logo. It’s really cool to combine the two. We will give 15 percent back to the scholarship program for low income kids. We just sent first batch of the Glide Project up to Yeti’s Grind in Edwards.

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