Who is Scott Callender?
I have lived the typical back-story of a character in a 90’s sitcom. I grew up in a small town in Ohio and dreamed of exploring the big, wild world. In my story, it so happens that coffee stamped my passport. During my college years, I stumbled into a little shop in Altanta, GA called Octane Coffee and my experience there sent me down the path to discover great espresso, Italy, cooking and a love for sharing my passion with others, aka marketing.
Today, I am a husband, father and the guy trying to make the right decisions for the future of La Marzocco Home. La Marzocco Home acts as a bit of a start-up within the larger La Marzocco family. We are focused on trying to provide the tools and education needed for home baristas to fall in love with the espresso ritual a little more each morning. I’ve got a great team that I get work with everyday and I’m really proud of what we have done so far. I have a beautiful wife and two kids that I get to live life and share the big, wild world with. I feel very fortunate.
What’s your best childhood memory?
Very difficult to choose one thing! One of my favorite memories is that my family used to make maple syrup from the trees around our house in Ohio. My brother and I would go out with my Dad, tap the trees and hang buckets. Then on harvest day, we would build fires outside, collect the buckets and start boiling down the sap on these big metal grates. I remember the first year, I sat around the fire with my brother, dad and grandpa and didn’t believe that this process was really going to result in maple syrup. When the clear liquid started to turn dark, it felt like watching magic. The smell of smoke and syrup, the sounds of my family talking and laughing and the transformation of something very ordinary into one of my favorite things through fire was very transformational for me.
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I would say I wandered through life a bit early on before figuring out what I wanted to do. But, to say I would do any of that over wouldn’t be true. In those false starts I built my unique set of skills and view of the world. My view is much wider than if I had just been focused on one thing and never wavered.
What do you feel most proud of?
In my personal life, I feel most proud when my kids treat each other or those around them with kindness. My wife has done a great job of encouraging them to think about others first. It is always a challenge for kids AND adults to have that mindset!
In my professional life, I’m proud when we get a thank you call or email from a La Marzocco Home customer that can’t believe how much time we have spent with them. We work to try and make every customer feel like they are part of our world and the reason why we exist.
In my past life, the most true to me thing I’ve ever done was to serve espresso out of my kitchen window in Napa Valley to my friends on weekday mornings before work. Creating specialty drinks in that environment was my favorite creative outlet. You can see pictures from the project here if you are interested.
If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?
Well first of all, my GS3. I put my name on the list of people that first received La Marzocco’s home machine back in 2007. It is easy to say that purchasing the GS3 changed the course of my life and sent me deep into the love of home espresso.
Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking is a book that I love. Italian cooking is the thing I do to clear my mind and her book is full of great recipes and witty commentary on cooking.
I hate to say it, but my third thing would be my iPhone. Running an ecommerce business would be impossible without it. It’s amazing/scary to think how much we use our phones for. This is going to force me to do some introspection about my phone…
What would you want your tombstone to say?
Probably 5 years ago I would have said that I wanted my tombstone to say “This man changed the world for the better.” But recently I’ve realized that attitude is a very lonely existence, a loftier goal would be for it to say, “The people around this man changed the world for the better.” I won’t say it’s been an easy mental shift, but I’m trying to change my mindset to think of ways I can help those around me be happy and successful.
What is La Marzocco?
La Marzocco is a company that has been making espresso machines by hand in Florence, Italy since 1927. It is a family company started by two brothers, Giuseppe and Bruno Bambi. Giuseppe’s son, Piero, who is in his 80s, still comes to work everyday and has had a hand in designing every machine La Marzocco has produced since 1989. La Marzocco has become a symbol of the specialty coffee movement and has brought a variety of technological innovations to the market including the dual boiler, saturated group, PID and pressure profiling to name a few. We see ourselves as the instrument that coffee professionals use to share their art.
What’s your favorite kind of coffee?
I drink espresso probably 90% of the time. I like a wide variety of espresso from single origins to blends, they all can be very delicious. I’m currently excited about the roasters out there who are focusing on making great espresso blends. It feels like this was out of fashion for a while and I’m glad to see more roasters embracing this.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
Well, in Seattle you would most likely find me at the La Marzocco Café. While I am biased, the Café has been a dream for the espresso nerd in me. Every month we have a new roaster take over our bar, change the menu and service and develop a new experience. It has been so fun to try the different styles of espresso from all over the world right in Seattle Center.
What does a perfect day look like?
A day where I get to go to the park or play games with my kids in the morning, cook a big Italian meal with my wife in the afternoon, invite a bunch of friends over to eat the big Italian meal in the evening and then the meal wanders on into night with great conversations and games around the dinner table.