The Pilot's Blog

Get to Know Leawood Roasterie Barista Donny Wallin

If you were to drop everything and get into your car, program your navigation to coordinates 38.912665/ -94.635254 you would end up very near to our Roasterie café in the heart of Leawood. Located in the One Nineteen Shopping Center and opened in 2010, the Leawood Roasterie café has everything one needs for a fully caffeinated life. The Leawood café is full of bright faces from our wonderful baristas and staff…and behind those bright faces are brains full of coffee knowledge.

Lead barista at our Leawood café is Donny Wallin. Donny is a fun guy, but he takes his coffee seriously.  Get to know Donny and how he runs things at our Leawood café below:

1.  What is it like to be a Roasterie barista?

If I had to define it with one word, it would be “fun”. I have a great time every day with my staff and my regulars that I look forward to work every day. The Roasterie creates such a comfortable atmosphere that you don’t even feel like you’re at work; you’re at the bar, just talking about life with whoever comes in.

2.  Why did you become a Roasterie barista?

I have a passion for learning and finding out just how deep the rabbit hole goes. At the last two places I worked, I found a passion for coffee, but the knowledge about the coffee ended with my superior. At The Roasterie, I found that if I have a question about anything coffee related, my superiors can most likely answer it, and if not, then they will help find the answer until we are both satisfied.

3.  To you, what is it that makes Roasterie coffee so special?

One thing that has had me thinking for the past couple weeks is something I actually read on the Roasterie blog. Out of all the coffee harvested in the world, only 1% of it is air roasted. I’m proud to be the 1%!

4.  Of all the different products The Roasterie sells, what is your favorite?

It would have to be our Roasterie Teas. I never saw myself as a tea person. I’m not snooty enough. But our teas are really good, especially over ice!

5.  If you had to drink one Roasterie blend for the rest of your life what would it be?

That question is almost as difficult as getting married! That is one of the best parts of coffee is trying so many new kinds! My favorite coffee The Roasterie has shown me would be the Bali. The smell alone is enough to make me fall in love all over again!

6.  What does it take to be a great barista?

Passion and a willingness to learn.

7.  What’s the most surprising thing a barista may run into on the job?

I think the most common thing I hear from our new employees is that there is so much that goes into a great cup of coffee. It would be a trip to see the hands of everyone (the farmers, roasters, etc.) who helped make the latte that they are serving on a daily basis.

8.  What do you enjoy the most about the working at the Leawood location?

The regulars. It’s funny that a person you see for just a few minutes every day could actually make your workplace that much more enjoyable.

9.  Of all the countries we buy coffee from, where would you like to have your coffee adventure?

Costa Rica. No specific reason, I just really enjoy what I have had from there.

The next time you’re in the area and you’re in the mood for some the best coffee the world has to offer, drop into the Roasterie Leawood café. While you’re there, be sure to say hello to Donny and the rest of the gang–tell them the Pilot’s Blog sent ya!

Don’t forget to visit our other cafés too!

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