We had the good fortune of connecting with James Combs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Denver, Colorado; but I grew up in the mountains. We owned 10 acres at the top of a mountain that backed up to county open space on three sides. It was very quiet and we spent most days outside building things. My parents built our house by hand and we’re very active real estate investors. I grew up around construction. That has always motivated me to work hard in any environment and was the foundation for my love for place making and property development. The love for food developed when I got my first job washing dishes at a resort restaurant at age twelve. I stayed there for six years and moved up to a prep cook and they then a pastry chef. I worked under some very talented chefs and owners. I have worked in and managed several other restaurants; but none taught my more about food and the customer experience.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We operate one of the only green certified coffee & cacao roasting operations in the world. I travel regularly to coffee, tea and cacao plantations in almost twenty countries. My hybrid experience in the restaurant industry coupled with ten years of experience in finance and asset management has prepared me for the challenges that have come and gone. Having entrepreneurs and real estate investors for parents definitely prepared me and my siblings for this lifestyle as well. I build and repair almost everything myself, including both of our cafes.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am more of a home body, so I would probably stay close to Hickory Creek. I would go to the lake, our nearby coffee shop and then our Gainesville property. That complex would keep us entertained for the duration.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dad: Michael Combs is my rock and inspiration. He taught me everything and continues to inspire despite his own health challenges. As for books: As a Man Thinketh is a great book to keep you focused on your goals.
Linkedin: Check out James Combs’ profile on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-combs-1b206435