Why are you in the coffee business? What's your goal?
I'm working my way through school to get my mortuary license and become a funeral director.
Holy shit, not the answer I was expecting. How did that come about?
Both my parents were doctors and I wanted to go the opposite route, so my choices were lawyer, serial killer, or funeral director. This option seemed like the most fun.
I've seen you here and at Grand Central Bakery, and you are the best barista ever—patient, cheerful, smiling, calling everyone "Love" and "Sweetie"... How do you switch gears from barista to funeral director?
I don't see it as switching gears because it's the same thing, really: helping people in their time of need, be it with a shot or a stiff. I don't mean to sound flippant, but for me it's about caring for people and bringing a smile to their faces, whatever I'm doing.
Any plans to play to your strengths and open up a funeral home/cafe combo?
Oh, that would be brilliant! I could really corner the market, catering to stiffs and stiff shots. All my drinks could have death-themed names, like Statutory Grape Italian sodas, you know, something for the kids. Of course, all our products would be organic and free trade.