In this second installment of my interview with Joffrey’s head roast master Chris de Mezzo, we learn how Disney and Joffrey’s said “I Do.”
“I know that originally there was a single Joffrey’s kiosk at Typhoon Lagoon in 1995, but how did the partnership begin?” Chris chuckled as soon as I asked this question, and I knew it was going to be a good story.
We go back to Tampa, 1993, when Chris was working in that little one-room roasting place. Chris’ wife came in excited about a phone call. “There is a man on the phone…you want to take this call!” Chris had no interest in the call; as usual he was engrossed in his latest batch of coffee. His wife insisted, explaining it was from Disney. Chris still didn’t understand, but he took the call. “Hey Chris, I recently had the best coffee in the world – how would you like to sell it in our parks?”
Two weeks later, Chris had a meeting in Orlando at Team Disney. It’s important to note that every day, while roasting the most amazing coffee on the planet, Chris wears jeans and a t-shirt to work. This meeting required a shirt and tie, and his closet offered few options: he wore a white collared shirt and a tie he had for many years. As he was doing initial introductions, with a colleague from one of Joffrey’s Orlando stores, Chris notices her eyes practically bulge out of her head. Was it the shirt? Did it have a stain? Was the tie too old? It was none of those. Chris was informed that the characters on his tie were not Disney, in fact they were Bugs Bunny and the Tasmanian Devil! Feeling a tad foolish, Chris wanted to take the tie off, but there was no time, in walked the Disney corporate team. Despite this faux pas , Chris said the meeting went off without a hitch. I guess when you have the best coffee in the world, even wearing a competitor’s tie can be overlooked. Joffrey’s was off to Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Test Track and eventually all of Disney!
Thank goodness Chris’ wife insisted he take that phone call. Isn’t that just the way the world works, men often owing wonderful things to their amazing wives. If only she had picked out his tie too!