Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, Eric first discovered his love for coffee at the age of eight, when he began to steal sips of his mother’s coffee (made with lots of cream and sugar) as often as he could. He didn’t realize that this coffee came from a can, and was probably of mediocre quality. He also didn’t realize that Alfred Peet had just started roasting and serving specialty coffee in the Bay Area, and that finer coffees were in store for him.
After graduating from Metropolitan State College (Denver, Colorado) in 1985 with a B.S. degree in Marketing, Eric joined an advertising agency in Los Angeles. After working on several accounts for three years, he decided to return to graduate school at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. There, he graduated with an M.B.A degree in Marketing, and a Master’s degree in Southeast Asian History. Eric moved to San Francisco in 1993, where he was recruited by a promising Malaysian start-up company. In a twist of fate that was only humorous years later, the company failed six months later. Wondering what to do with himself in a new city, Eric realized that the baristas at his favorite Starbucks seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. They worked with a great-tasting product and made a decent living. So he joined Starbucks as a barista and fell in love with roasted coffee all over again.
A year later, Eric moved into the Starbucks Coffee Department. In another twist of fate, he took Scott McMartin’s job as a Tasting Room Assistant, as Scott moved to the Seattle headquarters. In that role, Eric learned how to cup coffee and sample roast from Alfred Peet. Eventually Eric followed Scott to Seattle, taking on a Coffee Specialist role, where he focused more on media relations, writing about coffee, and training. Eric left Starbucks after about ten years to focus on a freelance writing career. He eventually connected up with Scott McMartin again, which led to his new role at Mercon. Eric is now able to pursue his passion of roasting great coffees at Mercon Specialty.
Eric lives in Seattle with his wife (Cammy) and two teenage children (Trevor and Rebecca). In his spare time, he is a scout leader, spending his weekends teaching scouts how to tie knots, cook in the wilderness, and many other adventures. He also loves to explore great cocktails for friends and family.