John N. Clark – Roastmaster
John started Vienna Coffee Company in his garage! Roasting green coffee that he bought over the Internet, his first objective was simply to get better coffee than he could find anywhere locally. The passion took off after he found a used, antique 7 kilo (per batch) roaster on eBay, rebuilt it in the garage and hooked up with an importer of some of the finest specialty grade coffees anywhere. The hobby turned into a business shortly thereafter when his brother Mike and he bought the Vienna Coffee House in Cooper City Florida.
John is a Chemical Engineer who turned his lifetime of attention to the chemistry of combustion to a keen understanding of what goes on when green coffee is roasted. John said, “Although coffee roasting is more ‘Art’ than science, my combustion chemistry and air handling experience put me on perhaps a faster learning curve than others. Still, in the early days, I learned a lot by “trial and a lot of errors”! Since I wouldn’t distribute anything but the best, my Azalea bushes are mulched with a lot of very fine mistakes. They are very happy!”
John starts every day with a double shot, 12 oz Latte made with Little River style Espresso and one percent (milk fat) organic milk.
Melissa Leinart – Roaster
Missy joined Vienna Coffee Company in 2002 as a packaging assistant. After working alongside John for a couple years, she expressed an interest in the roasting side of the business. She began an informal apprenticeship in 2004 and took over the bulk of the roasting tasks in 2005 on a new 15 kilo roaster. Melissa is married with two sons and a yard full of dogs, cats, nieces and nephews. “One of the things I love about working here is telling my kids ‘they serve my coffee’, or ‘that place sells our coffee’ when we are out running around”.
Melissa starts her day with a cup of Front Porch Breakfast Blend, brewed at home in a Mr. Coffee, 12 cup brewer. Once at work, she’s likely to “taste” several other coffees throughout the day.
Melissa Huffstetler - Packaging Associate
Melissa became a welcomed staff member of VCC in 2007. Married with two teenagers at home and active in community sports, Melissa has a full day's work in front of her each day after she leaves here. Melissa has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of what’s happening and where are the good places to eat in East Tennessee. She and her Husband David both love traveling and camping. Next year, with a new high school student at home, they’ll have a whole new set of adventures ahead of them.
Her dedication and hard work at VCC has been most helpful in growing Vienna Coffee Company into what it is today. Melissa is usually the first one into the Roastery each day. As such, she gets to decide what coffee we will sample and serve each day. She makes a great and different choice everyday, but will often opt for the aroma of our signature Vienna Coffee House Blend. She also loves the mellow acidity and distinctively African flavor of the Organic, Ethiopian Yirgacheffee coffee. Tanzania Peaberry has become her new favorite lately.
Bob Knoll - Packaging and Delivery Associate
Check back soon for more details...
Alan Patterson - New Territory Sales Manager
Fredrick Alan Patterson (Alan) comes to Vienna as our new Territory Sales Manager, with lots of sales experience and an enthusiasm that is infectious. Please welcome Alan to VCC as he makes the rounds over the next few weeks to meet our existing friends and customers. He’ll be learning all about our particular brand of specialty coffee as well as the suite of other strong brands the Vienna Coffee distributes to our customers like Ghirardelli Chocolate sauces, Monin and Torani syrups and sauces, Xtreme Freeze real fruit smoothie bases and of course Harney and Son’s Fine Teas. Ask him what’s new.
Alan lives in South Knoxville with his wife of 13 years, Terry. A Navy veteran, Alan has been stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, Camp Lejeune, NC and the SEAL Team HQ in Little Creek, VA. He grew up in and around the food sales business and has sold a range of products from insurance to Caterpillar parts to the wares of over 30 different food product manufacturers. We look forward to his help taking Vienna Coffee to the next level of excellence in sales and customer service.
Michelle Rudisill - Operations
Michelle joined the Vienna Coffee Company in 2012. She watched her uncle John build the business from his start with his garage-based hobby, and has become a specialty coffee fan under his influence and direction. Being a tester as he developed VCC roasts and flavors was a fortunate benefit of his
Michelle’s enjoys spending time at her family’s cabin in the mountains of East Tennessee, where she recalls drinking coffee as a little girl, sitting on her Gramps’ knee. These days she typically starts her day with Columbian Supremo or Rich Mountain Blend brewed at home in her Cuisinart coffee maker with a stainless steel thermal carafe. “Johnny taught me that ‘heat is the enemy.’ Coffee is much better if you use a thermal pot instead of letting it sit on a warmer.” Upon opening the Roastery every morning, she enjoys having the world’s great coffees at her fingertips, and regularly changes up the offerings of the day. Some mornings just require splurging on some Kenya AA.
Jamie Stoneham - Design and Marketing Associate
Jamie was there in the beginning of Vienna Coffee Company as the designer of the original logo and a huge supporter of her father's passions becoming his profession. As the company has grown she has filled many different roles. She is a committed advocate of the social justice, fair and direct trade, and USDA organic sector of VCC.
She has had the opportunity to work within all parts of the coffee industry from farm to process to roaster to barista to consumer.
Since 2008, she had the great experience of working in Guatemala alongside some of the coffee farmers that grow one of VCC's coffee offerings. Her passions tend toward working with the farmers and producers, and she hopes to engage more in the sourcing of excellent green coffees!
She prefers a great cup of our direct trade coffee, La Armonia Hermosa coffee.
Creater of Deeper Roots, Les Stoneham has been working with coffee since 2003. Besides thousands of hours spent as a barista behind an espresso machine, Les has built and taught barista training courses for those with all levels of experience. He has competed in regional and national barista competitions as well as having trained other competitors for competition. When not barista training Les is involved with all parts of the coffee production chain; working with quality improvement and economic development at origin, roasting coffee and servicing espresso machines.
He joined Vienna Coffee Company a couple years ago as their coffee sourcer/buyer of their La Armonia Hermosa coffee. Through his organization, Deeper Roots, he continues to seek out more opportunities to aid in making coffee farmers way of life more sustainable and bring their wonderful coffee to people like you.