Interview with IN Utah magazine:
‘Scene-makers in SLC’
Why did you decide to open a coffee shop?
Coffee shops have become part of the lives of college students, entrepreneurs, young executives and similarly minded individuals who know that they do not need to be strapped to the “lunchroom” or to their “offices.” I identify closely with these individuals as I am both a fulltime art student at U of U and an entrepreneur. Throughout a long history of frequenting “coffee shops,” I have never been completely satisfied with my experience, nor with the services that are rendered to our demographic. Coffee Connection is here to correct that problem and offer us the “whole picture.” In the past I have made a career of fine art, design and environment modeling that has afforded me a unique and very connected insight into what it is that we had all been missing in such establishments.
What was your vision for the Coffee Connection?
A coffee shop where it is apparent that absolutely every thinkable aspect has been accounted for, and nothing has been shortchanged or left out.
What challenges did you face as you were preparing to open for business?
The city continually represents the stance that it supports Salt Lake’s “revitalization.” While it may be that they support this as individuals, the truth is that as a body, they have placed battalions of unnavigable regulations in our path. This being the case, I was not able to make the storefront of Coffee Connection reflect “the store” that you find inside. So the traffic that passes by SLCC’s South City campus does not even know that we are right across the street from its front doors.
How did you select the décor and the music?
Creating the environment was a painstaking process of micromanaged and detail-oriented “artist’s love juice.” The downtempo music array is the direct result of a decade and a half of music collecting across an eclectic array of genres. Every band has something mellow and hot that can get us through our long hours of homework, or help focus our acumen in a business meeting.
What are some of the things that make Coffee Connection’s beverage and food selections unique?
Nothing sucks. Not kidding. That was the whole point of this place. I would rather stab myself in the face than provide “average” services.
Coffee Connection features a rotating selection of art. Why is art
important to you, and how do you choose the artists you display?
That is a bigger question than it might seem offhand. To me, art is the right hand of beauty herself. The artists here are selected because they are bloody good at what they do. I am absolutely honored to have such excellent talent hanging in Coffee Connection.
You’re also a DJ at Area 51; when can we hear you there, and what do you play?
I have had a residency many places in SLC. Area 51 has always been my favorite because they don’t host any rigid musical “rules.” I am way too ADD to handle one type of music hour after hour. I spin on the main floor on Fridays (pop, techno, electro and alternative) and again on Saturdays (alternative, new metal, epic tech and requests).
From DJing to running a coffee shop, you specialize in creating atmospheres. What makes a good atmosphere?
According to me, an atmosphere passes the test when you genuinely forget that there is anywhere else that you could possibly be.
What do you think are some of the best ways to bring people together?
Develop your knack for helping those around you heighten their ability to experience what is already there.
What do you hope for your future?
That I may end as half the man my grandfather was.