Staff Feature: Cameron Lewis
Like many members of the Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. team, Cameron Lewis was already part of the BCRC orbit before he was officially hired, working for a client in the Richmond area. Originally, Cameron was hired as a delivery driver, but his talent as a photographer and illustrator was evident, and though he still handles a large portion of Blanchard's local deliveries, his work creating a visual presence for the Blanchard's Coffee brand on social media, print pieces, and merchandise is easily his most prominently visible contribution to the company's profile in the market. He is clearly at home behind a camera - focused on his craft, and efficiently capturing compelling narrative with each photo. Always up for a laugh and a conversation, Cameron seems at ease in most situations, allowing him to work easily with subjects all around the world. We caught up with Cameron this week, between a delivery run and working on the next round of Blanchard's tee shirt designs to talk about coffee, Richmond, and his work at Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. Here's what he had to say:
When did you start working at Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.?
3ish years ago? Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas.
What are a few of your favorite coffees? Why?
I love Koke. It's the first coffee I ever had that just bamboozled my tongue with fruitiness. It will always hold a special place in my heart. But if we're talking about what gets me revved up every day of the week, it's Handshake no question. My most recent origin trip was to Honduras, and we visited Finca San Isidro in Copán Ruinas- the farm where most of Handshake's magic ingredients come from. Handshake is just consistently great coffee all the time.
What are you brewing at home?
I always have a bag of Handshake sittin' in my kitchen window waiting for the weekend.
What is your go-to brew method at home?
Hario V60. I really want a Moccamaster because I'm lazy and want to push a button to get my coffee but they cost many dollars. Maybe I'll ask Santa for one this year.
What is your favorite place in town to grab a cup of coffee?
Laura Lee's always has crucial dessert options that get washed down real nicely with a cup of Dark as Dark. Try that after a Tiger's Eye cocktail (or two) and I dare you tell me it ain't paradise.
What are some of your influences or inspirations for your photography and illustration work?
I grew up being obsessed with old National Geographic magazines, Dr. Suess books and The Far Side comics. My parents would always take me to the VMFA as a kid and I was really into the Ancient Egyptian exhibit as well as the modern art gallery. I loved all that freaky deaky stuff. Really gets me going. My kindergarten art teacher was another major inspiration for me. What's up A.M. Davis Elementary and Mr. Ames!
Describe your perfect Richmond day? What would you do? Where would you eat? Etc.?
I'd start by getting breakfast at Nate's Bagels with my sweet angel girlfriend. Lox and a cup of Handshake for sure. Next we'd take a stroll through Hollywood Cemetery, making sure to take in the views of the James. We'd head over to Little Nickel for a late lunch, maybe she'll order the lamb burger and I'll have the pork bowl-and I'd wash it down with a Petey Poblano. We'd follow that up by relaxing on our porch and maybe dozing off for a few. We'd skip dinner and go straight for dessert- heading over to Gelati Celesti and getting a cone of dark as dark ice cream. After I clean up the inevitable mess I've made eating ice cream from a cone (Kathleen always remembers to get extra napkins), We'd walk the dogs around the VMFA, find a nice spot in the grass, sit down and watch the day fade into dusk- that's a perfect slice of heaven for me. I love Richmond's quiet moments best. Fill my day with those, and that's a perfect day.