Meet the Team!
Mad Priest Coffee is the brainchild of Michael Rice. In addition to the entrepreneur in his blood, he's also got a strong background in sales/management and barista and roasting certifications through Counter Culture Coffee and the SCAA. Before coming to join the coffee scene in Chattanooga almost two years ago as manager at The Camp House, he and his wife, Cherita, spent a few years living in India and working in the newly booming coffee industry there. When he's not crunching numbers or thinking of new ventures for Mad Priest, Michael can't get enough of his two beautiful little girls, Miriam (3.5) and Coira (1.5)-- whether it's coloring, changing diapers, playing ball, sleepless nights, or those infamous daddy-daughter dance parties. He also loves the great outdoors, good film, good food, and good beverages of all kinds.
Whatcha think of the creative edge to Mad Priest? Well that's what Cherita Rice has been up to. And she sure wears a lot of hats around here...design, copy editing, social media, research, and giving feedback to all Michael's new ideas. She has pretty much loved coffee since birth, when her mom (who grew up in Mexico) started making her cafe con leche, though it was really heavy on the milk and light on the coffee. (Michael finally converted her to drinking her coffee black when he got into the specialty coffee world several years ago.) In her free time she can be found outside getting her hands dirty in the garden with her little girls, in the kitchen thinking up healthy recipes, or daydreaming in Hindi.
Working with us since day one of our Broad Street roastery...meet Tarig! Though he just recently arrived in America before starting with Mad Priest, he jumped right in as a motivated, determined, hard worker. Let's be real, our space wouldn't have the beautiful window coffee bar area, white walls, or any handy storage without his help last fall. These days you can find him managing our production and coffee bar, where he pours lattes and brews your daily coffee. (Can you believe that he didn't know much about coffee just a few months ago?) Come on in, say hey, and ask him how to say hello in Arabic! And while you're here, he makes a mean pour over...just sayin'.
And have you seen someone new working our sweet San Fran Roaster? We are so excited to welcome "Master Chemist" Sarah Brinkley to the Mad Priest Team! Her huge passion for good coffee aside, she brings so much to the table with years of experience in the coffee industry (doing everything from bar management to coffee origin trips) and two chemistry degrees. Not to mention, her background in the wine industry has developed her distinctive palette so she's the perfect partner for roasting and coffee purchasing.