June is an exciting month in our Raleigh coffee roasting facilities with the addition of several new coffee production staff and the promotion of Head Roaster Brad Kirby to Director of Coffee & Coffee Operations.
Beginning June 17, Brad takes over leadership of the coffee roasting operations for both Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffee. He’ll lead green coffee buying, serve as our roastmaster and manage day-to-day coffee production for our customers.
In addition, Brad will manage the equipment and facility maintenance, manage coffee related inventories, assist with purchases, manage daily roast batch quality control, and coordinate shipping and receiving functions.
Brad Kirby started as Head Roaster at Stockton Graham & Co. in 2003. He has proven himself as an exceptional roaster and leader of cuppings both internally and with customers to ensure that the coffee product meets the highest standards. He is a Roaster’s Guild member who has passed both the beginner and intermediate barista training and has passed the Sensory Skills Test administered by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. (Click here for Brad’s bio.)
Brandon Riggs, who served as roastmaster from 2002, will be leaving Stockton Graham & Co. to pursue other opportunities in the coffee industry.
“This is all part of a long-term strategic initiative we started several months ago to envision how to grow our roasting department to enable us to continue growing as the company grows,” said Jeff Vojta, President and CEO of Stockton Graham & Co. “To enable this to happen, we realized that we needed to add to our group of talented roasting team members and have our coffee team work more closely with our sales and customer-focused teams.”
As part of this re-alignment, a former Customer Care Associate Chris Bennett has moved to the roasting team as a Coffee Roasting Associate. A former barista and graduate of North Carolina State University, Chris will supplement the customer-centric approach that our roasting team is known for. He will also put his Specialty Coffee Association of America training to work by participating in roasting production, production QC and blending/packaging.
Chris is joined by a second new hire in roasting, Rob Schuetz. Rob has been working with us on a temporary basis over several months as he finished his B.S. in Food Science from North Carolina State University. As a Coffee Production Associate, Rob’s will have additional duties of regulatory compliance, record keeping and standards. This will help ensure that our coffee product complies with the FDA’S Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), as well as all other regulatory requirements.
Steele Pompilio, a Coffee Production Associate who joined Stockton Graham & Co. in 2015, will assume additional coffee roasting duties; in addition to blending and packaging, he will be involved in equipment and facilities maintenance and assisting with QC and coffee training. These new responsibilities provide Steele the opportunity to grow his love for coffee; on the weekends, you’ll also find him donning is barista hat at Raleigh’s Cafe Helios in downtown Raleigh.
Brad Kirby looks forward to the coffee opportunities for both customers and the entire Stockton Graham & Co. team as a result of these changes.
“The re-alignment of our coffee roasting staff will also allow us to develop a more robust coffee training, certifications, content, delivery systems and work with our coffee programs, including growing our distribution channels for coffee,” said Brad Kirby, Director of Coffee & Coffee Operations. “These efforts require an increased level of knowledge and commitment from our coffee roasting team. I’m excited by the team we have in place today and a commitment to helping us attain these goals.”
For more information about our coffee roasting capabilities, please contact us at 800 835 5943.