Interview with Jenn Callender
Heading into the long weekend grateful for all the folx working behind the scenes to make this show possible. Today we introduce the first in a series on our Unpacking Crew.
We are grateful to our friends at La Marzocco for all of their support for the show, from sending us gear to opening up their space to interviews to introducing us to their Roasters in Residence, who we highlight on the show. All that work comes from one lady we absolutely admire: photographer, stylist, social media maven Jenn Callender. Thank you, Jenn for making so many of our episodes possible and also for your friendship and encouragement.
Jenn: Hey, I’m Jenn Callender and I do freelance marketing and photography for La Marzocco USA – primarily for the La Marzocco Cafe in Seattle, WA. I also answer to mom, plant lady and “Jenn RN!” when friends need speedy nursing advice.
Prior to the La Marzocco Cafe opening in 2016, I had worked with the team at La Marzocco Home styling photo shoots and putting the finishing touches on their SCA Expo booths.
When the Cafe opened, I was asked to kick off its social media presence, create content to promote it and be the marketing contact for the monthly-rotating Roasters in Residence.
Building an Instagram Audience
Kandace: You’ve built a fantastic following on the La Marzocco Cafe Instagram account. What advice would you give someone working on building their own audience?
Jenn: A huge part of the reason we’ve been able to build our following is because of the unique concept at the Cafe. Not only does it serve as a showroom for La Marzocco’s gorgeous espresso machines, but it is a stage for specialty coffee where we get to highlight some of the best coffee companies from around the globe. Because of this concept, we’ve shared and benefited from cross-promotion with every coffee company we’ve hosted. Natural cross-promotion like this is a great way to build an audience – so look for other like-minded accounts, friends or businesses and collaborate – you’ll both benefit.
When creating posts, I always try to make sure that what’s being posted aligns with our overall mission as a cafe. Folks follow along because they are interested in La Marzocco and/or they want to see posts about the coffee roaster we are currently hosting, what new and exciting coffee and menu items we’re offering, or what events and classes are taking place in our space. There certainly should be room for creativity and some deviation, but for the most part, make sure content aligns with what your company is known for and good at.
Finally, engage with your audience as much as you can. Be kind and grateful. A trusted source or friend’s recommendation is always influential, so if someone has taken the time to share about your business and you see it, always try to show appreciation!
Kandace: Where can we find/follow you?
Jenn: You can find me on Instagram @jenncallender
Working in the Coffee Industry
Kandace: Is there anything you’ve learned about coffee or the coffee industry from working with La Marzocco that you found interesting?
Jenn: I love learning the stories about how people are introduced to coffee and end up starting coffee companies. So many people share that it was a connection they had with another human being, usually over a really good – sometimes really bad – cup of coffee that put the idea in their heads. Most did not set out to work in coffee, but once that spark is there, for many it’s unstoppable. I have to think that it’s those human connections, along with the coffee, that draw people in. I know I’ve learned that about myself anyway. Tasting, photographing and writing about coffee wouldn’t be quite as sweet if I didn’t appreciate and get to connect with some of the incredible people it passed through before ending up in my hands.
Home Coffee Setup
Kandace: What is your home coffee set-up right now?
Jenn: Thanks to my husband Scott’s early obsession with La Marzocco, we’ve been lucky enough to have the La Marzocco Home GS3 machine on our kitchen counter since 2008. I drink a cappuccino most mornings, but we also brew pour over using a Kalita Wave.
Photos of Jenn by Josh Littlefield. All other photos by Jenn Callendar.