A Joffrey’s Junkie Dream Come True

Welcome to the first of a multi-blog series on Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company and Head Roast Master Chris DeMezzo.

We all know my love for Joffrey’s Coffee, so imagine how excited I was to have the opportunity to talk to Chris by phone for an hour.  Yes, I was a tad star struck, and Chris is exceptionally knowledgeable – but mostly I found his profound passion for coffee mesmerizing…I could have easily talked to him for hours.  In this series, we will explore how he got started with Joffrey’s, what makes him so passionate about coffee, some of the mistakes he may have made along the way, and of course the greatness that he has created that sits in your morning cup of coffee.  So, sit back with a nice cup of Joffrey’s and enjoy!

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Joffrey’s Head Roast Master Chris DeMezzo
How It All Began…

When I asked Chris how he started in the coffee business, and where his love for coffee began, he told me a story of chance and accidents.   I always imagined that the man that flies around the world to bring us the greatest coffee must have been a coffee drinker since birth.  I was shocked to learn Chris didn’t drink coffee until after a full year of working for Joffrey’s.  So how did Chris and Joffrey’s find each other?

Working for an aluminum company in New Jersey that hit hard times during the recession of the late 70’s, he was transferred to the plant in Tampa, Florida.  When the company experienced more struggles, he was about to be transferred again when Chris’ sister-in-law told him about a job at a small coffee company.  He was hired at 8 dollars an hour, not because of his knowledge about coffee, but largely because he had his own tools.  (Thank goodness for tools!)

It was sink or swim right from the beginning, as his bosses wished him luck as they walked out the door to lunch.  Living in fear of burning down the company in his early months, Chris got to work learning everything about coffee.  The middle of five children in an Italian family, growing up his experience with coffee was essentially Biscotti dipped into Maxwell House.  Chris had a lot to learn!  He read anything he could, and learned by trial and error.  He was always asking questions of the companies he was buying the coffee beans from, absorbing as much information as possible.   After twelve months, Chris had his first cup of Mocha Java and the proverbial light bulb went off:  “This is delicious… how did I do this, and how can I make this better?”

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Chris always attempting to “make it better” and doing what he loves
Chris clearly learned how to do it better over the years, always keeping his standards high, and learning to brew amazing coffee.  How?  “Every morning I get to do something I love, I love it always.”  — Chris DeMezzo

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Nothing but Quality for Chris
Jofrey's
Doing what I do Best!!! Drinking my Favorite beverage on WDW property

Touring with a Special Diet Child…Part 2: Trip Report

Well, it happened.  We successfully toured WDW and made it home alive and with our sanity still intact.  And thank you…yes you, for perusing this blog post to find out how the trip with a Ketogenic Diet child turned out.  Instead of giving you all the exciting review of the Ketogenic Diet and the process needed to prepare Jake’s meals, just head to this link and check it out:

https://themickeydudes.com/2016/07/14/touring-with-a-special-diet-child-part-1-the-planning/

We went into this trip actually a little worried.  We didn’t know how Jake would react to having the prepared meals and none of us eating with him.  Or if he would go nuts when he saw a popcorn stand and couldn’t enjoy a bucket of the buttery goodness.  Questions went through our heads like: “can he do it,”  “can we do it,” “will he eat,”  “what do we do if he doesn’t eat,”…and we hadn’t even left for the World yet!  In short, we had plans in place that actually worked and plans that failed miserably.

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Plans that worked:  Pre-cooked items and frozen Keto pizzas used as much as possible.  Yes, Jake had pizza every night (who wouldn’t want that) and he loved it.  Pre-made “puffs” were great for breakfast and snacks and cut down on the amount of meals we had to prep, saving time.  Instead of leaving at the ‘crack of a rooster crow’ for the World the start of our vacation, we left in the late afternoon of the day before.  If we would have left on the morning of a big travel day, we would have stopped numerous times for meals and snacks.  By leaving the day prior, Jake would have already eaten most of his controlled meals and all we would have to stop for would be dinner. Yeah, we got in late that night, but we had a full DisneyWorld day the next day.

Plans that failed:  Rope dropping Epcot on the first day of the trip after a long drive the day prior.  We were all tired, having less than 5 hours of sleep and were kind of miserable.  No one was at each others throats, but we were moving at a snail’s pace.  Trying to go a full day at DHS was probably the biggest failure of them all.  We thought we could get there early in the morning, go with no breaks, and call it an early evening.  We also thought we could actually all eat together at the ABC Commissary…and it would be fine as long as no one got fun food like nuggets and or fries.  We were WRONG!!!  Lunch time is when the wheels fell off.  Jake didn’t want to eat and was throwing a Biblical size fit. My wife had to take Jake back to the room while Tyler and I toured a little while longer.  He did eat while we was back at the room, and commenced to take a 3 hour nap.  I was kind of jealous of the nap.

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The Room:  We were lucky enough to score a 1 bedroom Villa at The Wilderness Lodge on a last-minute request so that we could take advantage of the kitchen.  It was amazing and a God send.  We were able to prepare all of Jake’s meals on the stove and microwave and were able to have something other than Pop-tarts for Tyler.

Lessons Learned:  We can’t go all day in the park.  Breaks are needed and will be taken.  We have to take time for ourselves (parents).  This was accomplished by a parent taking Tyler to a good meal while the other stayed with Jake.  And the biggest lesson of all: Yes, it can be done and Yes we can do it again.  Jake will be on this diet for a least 2 years and there is no way we are going to keep family fun-time out of WDW for that amount of time.

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Thanks to our hundreds of thousands of fans who have read this.  It was brief, but I hope you have learned something that will be helpful to you or to a loved one.  If you have any questions about touring with the diet, or just diet, please feel free to contact me.

Twitter: @turkeyleg1

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