Meet the Dallis Bros. (and Sisters): Sue Fawver

Sue enjoying a cup of Dallis Bros. Ellis Island Blend at Parm.

Though we no longer require our sales team to travel via horse and buggy, our coffees wouldn’t make it out onto the streets of New York City and beyond without them. From specialty food stores to cafes to fine dining, our talented sales staff are the link between the roastery and your cup. Meet Sue Fawver, who left behind her first love, the music industry, for a beautiful relationship with coffee.

Where did you grow up?

Portland, Oregon. Good coffee credentials.

How long have you been at Dallis Bros.?

Almost 4.5 years. I made a decision to change careers about 10 years ago, I was in the music industry for years, working for indie record labels. I worked for Watermelon records in Austin, TX and worked for Shanachie here. My specialty was American roots music. But with the music industry being what it is, and watching everything start to change, it occurred to me that I was going to be pretty much extinct.

My other big passion has always been specialty foods and coffee, and I was a fan of Whole Foods in Austin, and they had a career development program. So I got into the career development program in specialty foods, and made my way into being the coffee buyer with the Union Square store, I set that department up. And in the process of setting that department up, they were actively looking for local coffee roasters. I was working there one night and a guy came in peeking around the open barrels of coffee and it turned out he was with Dallis Bros. coffee, and he took me out to the plant and I got samples and I just fell in love with the place. It’s been great! And having been a field rep before, in music, this is great for me, because I’m accustomed to going into businesses and working with them, figuring out what they need. Plus I’m just permanently curious, so I love to poke my nose into anything! I don’t have any problems with knocking on doors. I’m in so many different environments every single week.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Oh boy. Keeping up with learning all the new things, definitely. Scheduling is a constant challenge with this kind of job, because there are so many things pulling at you all the time. I want to be focusing on customers, I want to be out at the plant learning things about our single origin coffees, and pourover methods. That’s probably the most challenging part is balancing all that. And the fact that green coffee prices have gone up so dramatically, trying to make all of that stuff that we’re passionate about into a viable business decision for people is really challenging.

What’s the funnest thing about your job?

It’s so hard to pick, the most fun thing is really the coffee, to be honest. When you get the chance to really cup coffee—going to origin and seeing the coffee in Brazil, that was tremendously exciting. The other thing about coffee that’s so great is that you never really learn everything, it’s just a constant ongoing process. I feel like I’m never going to master everything about coffee. There’s constantly new things to learn and new things to practice.

And it’s so interesting culturally, whenever get to meet people—we just had a guy from Ethiopia drop by—interfacing with these people and just seeing what’s going on with coffee in their lives.

What’s your favorite thing about Ozone Park>

Indian Buffet!!!

What’s your favorite coffee right now, and how do you like to prepare it?

Right this second—can I pick two? The Honduras Las Amazones, the CoE winner, done as a pourover with a Bonmac, single-cup, becuase it turns out really nice and clean and brings out the qualities of that coffee. And then surprisingly, I was cupping a table of dark roasts, and the La Tacita dark was killer! And it’s great in a French press. You get that kind of nice rich siltiness, it’s not dark enough that it’s charcoally at all, it has nice dried fruit tones to it. Really yummy, that.