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Posted in Meet People, Social Good

MEET Jason: all around awesome community-building coffee-brewing guy

MEET Jason: all around awesome community-building coffee-brewing guy

Have you smelled a delicious and fresh brewed aroma around Atlanta these days?  It might just be coming from one of the Batdorf & Bronson coffee houses springing up in your neighborhood.  Or perhaps it is wafting from one of the many surprise coffee parties popping up in local offices.  Or just maybe you enjoyed it while driving around the West Side near the nondescript warehouse that hides an Atlanta coffee roasting gem.  Meet Jason Dominy, Atlanta’s super caffeinated, wonderfully enthusiastic, coffee brewing fiend.  He is on a mission to make his community a better place one cup of joe at a time and we sat down to find out what fuels his passion.

Tell us a little about your work:

My work with Batdorf & Bronson is very broad, and everyday I’m doing something different, which I enjoy. On any given day you’ll find me organizing events, working on collaborations with local companies, doing social media, some training, and tastings with our current customers. Just whatever is needed. In my spare time, I spend as much time with my beloved wife April as possible, doing work for Blood:Water Mission, an organization we’ve been proud to support since it’s beginning, and enjoying rides in my MINI Cooper S. I also play as much disc golf as possible.

How did you get started with it?

I started in coffee with opening two coffee shops, and started not from a passion for coffee, but a passion for community. I started it as a way to help people to get to know each other, to provide a place for genuine depth in conversation to take place, to exchange thoughts and ideas.

What inspires you to do this work?

Coffee and people inspire me. The magic moment when someone drinks their first cup of black coffee and tells me they’ve never been able to drink it black before that cup, and that they actually enjoy it. And the coffee itself is a very inspirational thing. The fact that it can be so many things, that it can have so many flavors and enjoyed in so many methods.

What challenges have you faced?

Well, on a daily basis we fight preconceived ideas of what coffee is. I’ve been doing some brewings where I watch folks automatically put cream and sugar in their coffee without first trying it. They do it out of habit, and are missing out on something really special, given that the coffee I’m serving them isn’t the bitter, over-roasted coffees they’re probably used to. The other challenge is getting folks to try specialty coffee, when coffee can be found cheaper and much more convenient from convenience stores and fast food chains. I spend a good bit of time getting folks to try coffee without things in it, to see the difference, and to build the value in it that’s already there. Because Batdorf & Bronson roasts here in Atlanta, another joy is that people can actually see the Roastery, know their coffee is really fresh, and fresh coffee tastes completely different than the coffee you buy off a normal grocery store shelf.

Are you organization collaborating with anyone?

We’ve had a great partnership with Cacao Atlanta, one of the best bean to bar chocolate makers in the world, that happen to be right here in Atlanta. We’ve also got great collaborations with King of Pops on a line of coffee pops, with Monday Night Brewing on an upcoming Coffee IPA, and a great collaboration with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams out of Ohio. Jeni’s makes the best artisan ice cream in the country, and we’ve created a Black Coffee ice cream that uses our Guatemala Finca El Valle, and in my opinion, is the best tasting coffee ice cream on the market. My most recent collaboration is a collaboration coffee blend we did with Kaldi’s Coffee in St. Louis, MO. We both roasted a Guatemalan coffee each, and blended on site to produce this really delicious coffee roasted half in Atlanta, and half in St. Louis. Called “Collabrewation”, it’s the first of it’s kind, and I’d love to see more of it in the future.

What impact are you hoping to have on our Atlanta community?

I hope my impact is getting folks to enjoy better coffee, or coffee better. I hope I can help folks to think about coffee differently, as the really special and amazing thing it is. I hope my impact is getting folks excited about great coffee.

Would you like to see your work replicated?

Absolutely. A rising tide floats all boats, and the more folks there are spreading the good news of specialty coffee, the more we all win, especially consumers.

What kind of assistance do you need to keep this going?

Well, we organize lots of events, some centered around coffee, some not. I’m working on a fundraiser right now for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and these events take lots of help. I’m also leading the coffee setups at the upcoming Digital Atlanta and TedX Peachtree events.

What are some of the biggest issues you see facing Atlanta?

I think transportation issues are important, and honestly, that’s the only thing I can think of.  Atlanta is a beautiful, special place. It is full of wonderful people, wonderful projects, and there’s a good unity in this city that you don’t see in a lot of places.

What are some of your favorite things and organizations around town?

I’m a huge fan of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. I love the parks around the Chattahoochee. I love all the little pockets all around Atlanta, and the great cultures around each one. I love Scoutmob and their people. I love that they’re very passionate about Atlanta. I love the food scene here in Atlanta, in my opinion one of the most underrated food scenes in America.  I love the depth of great coffee shops around Atlanta, from the Dancing Goats shops to the Octanes, Steady Hand, Condesa, REV in Smyrna, on and on. We have a vibrant specialty coffee scene, one that a lot of cities wish they had.

Where can interested readers find you?

I can be found on Twitter at @jasondominy, on Facebook at /jasondominy, my blog at jasondominy.tumblr.com, and I spend a good amount of time lately in our new Dancing Goats at Ponce City Market. More info on Batdorf & Bronson Coffee can be found at www.batdorfcoffee.com, and @batdorfcoffee.