Our Meet Your Barista series will introduce our incredible humans who make Dark Heart extra special. Enjoy their stories, coffee magic, personal goals, and all-around awesomeness. Get it, get it, get it. And get inspired!
So, without further adieu, meet Kelsey, Dark Heart's cortado devotee, floral creative, and peaceful energy mama.
1. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE COFFEE INDUSTRY? HOW DID YOU BECOME A BARISTA?
After I moved back to the US from Argentina when I was 19, I knew I wanted to find a job that would allow me to work anywhere. I didn't know much (i.e. anything) about coffee, but thought this industry could bring me lots of places and open up doors for me. A lot of the shops around town required experience, but a coffee shop near me was hiring without experience because they wanted to train baristas in their own way. It was the perfect intro for me into the world of coffee, which I have only wanted to venture further and deeper into.
2. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT DARK HEART, AND WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GROW WITH THE DARK HEART FAMILY?
My husband and I moved away to Oregon for a year, got pregnant, and decided that moving closer to family was the best thing for us. I searched around for different jobs before actually being in the state and found Dark Heart. From all my friends and the internet, I kept hearing that this place was different. The coffee, the vibe, the entire experience was something that I longed to be a part of. I emailed Allison and Justin and told them I was moving. After I got back, the interview was set. Let me tell ya - longest interview I've ever had. And it was amazing! Justin and Allison cast their vision for DH, shared their passion behind the shop and coffee, and basically invited me into their work if I wanted to share their passion. I loved the intensity of their passion and their desire to create something undeniably different than anything Loveland had ever seen.
3. WHAT MAKES DARK HEART SPECIAL?
No matter what stage in learning coffee, it's something we've all felt: we walk into a shop and immediately feel intimidated and out of our element, like we should have studied that morning prior to ordering our coffee. Dark Heart takes the amazing coffee, the elite techniques, and the other aspects of possible intimidation, and creates an atmosphere that is inviting and open to teaching without shame about the world of coffee. It's not a place where you would be afraid to say, "I don't know what that is. Will you tell me about it?"
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DARK HEART BEVERAGE TO MAKE, AND WHY?
Cortado, hands down. I love the simplicity of the drink and the beauty of the presentation.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DARK HEART DELIGHT TO SIP, AND WHY?
Difficult question because I genuinely love everything, but my short answer would be a cortado. Not to sound redundant, but I love the simplicity and beauty of the drink. I love tasting the unique flavors of the espresso and the silky smooth milk.
6. TELL US ABOUT ARDENT ROSE FLORAL!
Ardent Rose Floral is my main hustle. Formed out of a design to bring unique, whimsical designs that resemble nature, this little bespoke floral studio is my passion. I primarily design for weddings and elopements (which is my main avenue), but I also on occasion design arrangements for wonderful places like Dark Heart.
7. WE SEE ALL OF YOUR GORGEOUS FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS AROUND THE CAFE. HOW DO YOU ALIGN YOUR ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE DARK HEART VIBE SO BEAUTIFULLY? TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROCESS.
Floral design for me is intuitive; how I feel looking at the arrangement plays a huge part in what I create. When designing, I try to put myself in the audience's shoes to how they will perceive and receive the flowers. Flowers can create an emotional experience and response. I try to mirror the atmosphere of Dark Heart. Naturally, I gravitate toward asymmetrical designs, which flow well with the atmosphere at Dark Heart.
8. WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT DARK HEART, WHAT IS KELSEY USUALLY UP TO?
I am raising my daughter, Ingrid, and excitedly awaiting the arrival of our second daughter in August. I am in full mom mode with a very busy toddler. I also love gardening, creating art, baking, and when I'm not 38 weeks pregnant, I enjoy running and being super active!
9. WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL GOALS AND DREAMS?
I want to create a life and family that I am proud of, that invites others in, and makes people feel welcome and seen. I want to raise daughters that are kind and brave. And I want to run a marathon eventually.
10. AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE WITH SOMEONE WANTING TO FOLLOW THEIR SMALL BUSINESS DREAMS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Just start. You can't figure everything out ahead of time, and there is so much learning as you go. Mistakes and hard things happen, but you'll never know if you don't try. Also, something I am learning and figuring out is that you can pivot or change your mind and it doesn't make you a failure. Life is about seasons and loving the life you have right now.
11. WHY ARE YOU AWESOME? (YES, PLEASE ANSWER IT BECAUSE YOU SO ARE!)
I love my adaptability and desire for growth. I love that I can see others’ perspectives.
We love you, Kelsey!
Connect with Kelsey: