Staff Feature: Moriah Claud

We met Moriah Claud shortly before June of 2017 when she and her friend Patrick Rush began attending our Friday Public Cupping sessions. We tend to see a lot of familiar faces for those cupping sessions, so we knew Moriah and Patrick were new-comers. As they began to return, week after week, we began to get to know them. Serendipitously, we were beginning to look for people to fill a couple of positions at Blanchard’s, and it turns out that the friends, recently relocated to Richmond from Nashville, were interested in working with us.

Intangible as it may seem, company culture is something that is so important to us at Blanchard's. At the risk of sounding trite, we put a great deal of focus on having a great vibe, and a lot of that has to do with our team sharing a common sense of purpose, and passion for that purpose. A short conversation with Moriah will tell you that she is positive, funny, passionate about coffee, and driven to be exceptional at whatever it is she's doing, whether that is designing unique coffee cocktails for our next Saturdays event, or filling coffee bags for the next day's delivery. Here is a little bit more about Moriah in her own words:

"My name is Moriah. I moved here from Nashville, TN last June with my girlfriend, Mary, and my best friend, Patrick. I started at Blanchard's last August. I've been in coffee for ten years. My first shop was a teeny little cafe in my hometown of Pleasant View, TN where we sold mostly nutella milkshakes and measured our batch brew with a 12 oz plastic iced cup. It wasn't the height of sophistication, but it was the only place to hang out that wasn't Sonic or the parking lot of Dollar General so it was special. I studied English Literature in college - an obvious choice for a career barista. I worked at a super trendy coffee shop in college called the Frothy Monkey.  My career as a barista began as a sort of haven in a tiny town, graduated to a haven in a big city, which just kept growing as I realized the scope of the coffee industry. 
The Richmond coffee scene is still new to me, but I love it. I came here used to virtual pandemonium, but the Richmond scene seems so focused. Doing Saturdays events has maybe exaggerated that perception, but I'm buying into it anyways. People are genuinely so curious and ready to learn what we're doing and why. Even when they don't ask about the details, they're willing to acknowledge that coffee can be complex and the more care goes in to it, the better it tastes. 

It is difficult to summarize briefly what I do here because the answer is a whole lot. If my parents are asking, I say, “I plan events with Patrick and I put beans in bags.” Really, I spend a lot of time learning and experimenting and figuring out what ideas are within the realm of possibility-- and also putting beans in bags.

As an addendum to my college degree for you parents of baristas who insist on attending a liberal arts college, I have used my degree for something. After graduation, my friends Mikaela Hamilton, Anna Thompson and I compiled a book of my poetry, photography, and illustration. While we have and will likely never make a dime from it, it is beautiful and meaningful."

Music is a big part of our days here at Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co. There are a number of musicians on the BCRC team, and we all enjoy sharing our favorite artists with each other on the shop playlist as we work. Moriah has great taste in music, and brought a fresh vibe when she joined the team, so we asked her to put together a Spotify playlist of some of the tunes in her heavy rotation. 
Listen to Moriah's playlist here!