Coffee Roasting Re-org Brings More Customer Focus

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.Raleigh Coffee Roasting

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.

polaroid-bradBrad 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.”

poleroid-bennettAs 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.

Rob SchuetzChris 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 PompilioSteele 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.

Our 20th Year In Business:
Celebrating Employee Anniversaries

Happy Anniversary Brad and Debra!

We are celebrating our 20th year in the business of coffee by spotlighting employee anniversaries!

Stockton Graham & Co. Brad, our Head Roaster, wears many hats, and has a hand in everything from roasting and equipment maintenance, to ensuring our shipping is running smoothly. After starting in our warehouse in 2003, Brad’s role at Stockton Graham & Co. quickly expanded to coffee roasting and coffee education. He now holds the title of Head Roaster and has been an integral part of our growth. Brad keeps all of our production equipment operating efficiently, and teaches Stockton Graham & Co.’s Coffee College class on Equipment Cleaning & Maintenance. Kirby also travels the world with Brandon Riggs, our Roastmaster and Green Coffee Buyer, visiting coffee farms to learn more about the growing process and what it takes to cultivate the great coffees he roasts.

“Working alongside Brad for over 11 years has been a learning experience for us both and an honor for me.  I admire his hard work, dedication to and knowledge of coffee, among many other things.  His dedication to coffee excellence and expanding his and everyone else’s knowledge of coffee is a key part of our success and growth.” – Jeff Vojta, CEO

“Brad is an integral part of our coffee philosophy here at Stockton Graham & Co.  His knowledge and passion for our coffee has blossomed over the years and his competence at the cupping table is a tremendous asset.  His work ethic and dedication to our customers is unsurpassed, and his ability to switch roles when needed is effortless.  I am looking forward to working alongside Brad for many more years.” – Brandon Riggs, Roastmaster and Green Coffee Buyer

Debra Dolan - Bio

Our Director of Business Development for the Northeast Region, Debra Dolan, has been in the specialty coffee industry since 2000. Dolan is celebrating her second year at Stockton Graham & Co. Debra has done everything from owning a coffee shop to directing a specialty coffee division at a food center. She uses her experience, skills and knowledge to go above and beyond for our customers.

Debra joined our team in 2012, bringing with her ten plus years of experience in specialty coffee. Dolan began her career as a specialty coffee business owner in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Stockton Graham & Co., she worked as a Director of Specialty Coffee and a Sales Representative. Debra is very experienced in the specialty coffee world with certificates from the SCAA, BGA, and Stockton Graham & Co. Most recently, she was chosen to serve as a judge at the 2013 Coffee Fest America’s Best Coffeehouse competition in New York City. Debra teaches some of our Coffee College classes; Brewing Fundamentals, Specialty Beverage Basics and Espresso Basics.

“Debbie is a tremendous asset to Stockton Graham & Co., our customers and to me.  She has unsurpassed coffee and café industry knowledge.  She has a desire and will work hard to find solutions to unique customer problems and opportunities so we all grow and prosper. Her enthusiasm on finding solutions and working with our customers is contagious to all and makes both us and our customers strive for higher levels of coffee excellence.” – Jeff Vojta, CEO

“Debbie is an amazing presence for our company.  With her vast history of how coffee shops function, the business of knowing the right products for the right customers, and keeping up with all the trends in the marketplace she has proven herself to be a valuable asset. She is easy to speak with, passionate about great customer service and an ability to decipher what the needs of her customers are. Debbie is an amazing person, and friend.” – Brandon Riggs, Roastmaster and Green Coffee Buyer

The whole team would like to congratulate and thank you both for your valuable service!

Congratulations to Brad Kirby for 10 years with Stockton Graham & Co.!

Brad-kirby-picking-coffeeApril marks the 10 year anniversary of our Head Roaster, Brad Kirby, joining the Stockton Graham & Co. team! We are proud to have such a dedicated, loyal and hardworking employee within our company. Brad is a necessity to what we do every day here at Stockton Graham & Co. – roasting great coffee. He is an integral part of our team, and we could not have grown so much without him.

Brad began working in shipping and receiving in 2003, and the warehouse immediately became more organized and efficient. Brad’s interest soon began to develop more in the coffee industry, and he moved into the roasting area permanently.  Brad’s eye for detail and passion for coffee has made him an excellent roaster and bestowed onto him the title of “Head Roaster”.

Brad-kirkby-smilingHaving a natural knack with machinery, Brad has become a Factory Trained Equipment Tech for La Marzocco, Franke, Astoria, Rancilio and Fetco brand coffee equipment while working at Stockton Graham & Co. He keeps all of our production equipment operating efficiently, and teaches Stockton Graham & Co.’s Coffee College class on Equipment Cleaning & Maintenance. Brad also has developed, implemented and maintains our associate safety program to ensure a safe, secure workplace.

Brad has worked with Brandon to share roasting knowledge with their roasting peers in the southeast and mid-Atlantic. They also discuss the best practices to further the development and use of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) standards through the Southeast Roasters Cult, Gulf Coast Roasters and Mid-Atlantic Roaster groups.

While working at Stockton Graham & Co., Brad has served as a SCAA Workshop Volunteer (for Gold Cup Certification labs and Brewing & Grinding labs), completed both Beginner and Intermediate SCAA Barista Classes and passed the SCAA Sensory Skills Test. Brad has traveled to coffee farms to learn more about the growing process, and he recently enjoyed a visit to the Selva Negra farm, where he got an in-depth look into the facilities there.

Brandon Riggs, Stockton Graham & Co.’s Roastmaster and Green Coffee Buyer works with Brad the closest. They spend every day artisan roasting Stockton Graham Coffees and hand packaging them for our customers. Brandon has only appreciation and praise for the work Brad does here at Stockton Graham:

“Customers should know that the consistency of their coffee is due to Brad’s attention to detail and passion for great coffee. Brad has helped the company grow so much, and was instrumental with the profile software for all the roasters. He has grown in his cupping knowledge, and his espresso and machine knowledge is invaluable. He also provides tremendous insight into the coffees we purchase and the best profile for roasting them.  Brad is great at what he does and is truly appreciated!”

President and Co-Founder of Stockon Graham & Co. Jeff Vojta, sings Brad’s praises as well:

“It has been an honor and pleasure to be able to work alongside Brad for these past 10 years. I have learned a great deal from him, and we have learned a lot together.  He has been an integral part of the company and he has worked hard to ensure that we roast and package the best coffees for our customers.  He and Brandon have worked very hard to ensure that our coffees are exceptional in taste and quality. Brad is also an instrumental member of our overall good manufacturing processes and compliance programs. He is a true asset to our team.”

Cupping

For 10 years Brad has done so much for Stockton Graham & Co., our staff and our customers. No one can fully express the appreciation we have for our Head Roaster. Brad’s knowledge and gained experience is essential to good roasting, and his hard work is always appreciated. The whole team would like to congratulate and thank you for 10 years of valuable service, Brad!