We’re just a few days away from the start of the 2013 United States Barista Championship competition season, which kicks off on Friday, October 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the Big Central Regional Barista Championship. This event will draw competitive baristas from all corners of the Midwest United States, and Sprudge.com will be there covering the event live, with even coverage sponsored by Wilbur Curtis Co., Cafe Imports, and Nuova Simonelli. This is our third year of live barista competition coverage, and so we invite you to join us as we shift into ESPN mode by bringing you stunning photography of each competitor, live Twitter coverage of the weekend courtesy of our @SprudgeLive Twitter feed, and daily recaps to help capture and archive the routines.
Some things about the regional cycle in the US are a bit different this year – the format of the competition and its calendar, for starters – but change can be a good thing, and we’re already convinced that the Big Central is going to stand out from an audience experience standpoint. First of, it’s being in a boxing gym – ! – which is like a pun-loving journalist’s dream template for a thousand “in this corner” one-liners and Rocky IV .gifs. But Cafe Imports and Wilbur Curtis Co. have gone one step further by bringing an innovative retail and dining experience into the equation at Big Central. Attendees will, for example, be able to dine from Andrew Zimmern’s award-winning food truck, AZ Canteen, and shop for fine home wears and vintage stuff from Forage Modern Workshop.
The end goal is to create a barista competition environment that’s fun to be in, and draws in people from all different kinds of quality brands. Something less insular, where coffee enthusiasts are able to directly interact with the Minneapolis food and design community. Add to that list the folks at Greenwich Vintage, a menswear company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their primary focus is on re-soled leather shoes and boots, with bright colors contrasting the warm leathers normally associated with such footwear. They also sell a small variety of ties and other gentlemanly accoutrements. Greenwich Vintage has been featured by Warby Parker, Men’s Journal, Thrillist, and L’étoile Magazine, among others. To learn more we sat down (digitally) with GVco’s co-owner, Max Miller.
Can you tell us a bit about your place? There’s not a physical location, but where are you featured?
Mr. Miller: Our workshop is in Waconia, Minnesota. However, we principally sell online through our webstore and our network of independent retailers across the country, including MartinPatrick3 and Highcroft Merch in Minneapolis, Sir & Madame in Chicago, Ball & Buck in Boston, Blank Canvas in Charlotte and Standard & Strange in Oakland.
Tell us a bit about your ethos. Our motto is “Step Your Grown Man Game Up”. We want our clients to be gentlemen in all aspects of their life, including how they dress, how they act, how they handle their business and family. All of our products are American made. How’d you get hooked up with the Big Central barista competition?
Noah Namowicz [of Cafe Imports] graciously reached out to us after learning about the company through our various social media outlets. After chatting with him for a bit, I thought it would be a great fit being that Zen [Tamas “Zen” Pomazi is GVco’s master cobbler] and I are religious coffee and espresso drinkers.
Have you ever seen a barista competition?
I have not seen one live. My uncle Paul owns Alterra Coffee (now Colectivo Coffee) in Milwaukee and I know that he sends many of his best baristas to these competitions.
Can people find you online? Yes they can. Our website address is www.greenwichvintage.us