Marquette, MI – McCracken of Dead River Coffee takes time off from roasting coffee beans to reflect on coffee, family, life and death.
Brian: When you were a boy, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Theo: I wanted a job where I worked with my hands. Maybe a mechanic or an electrician. I was never really clear on that but I knew I liked making things. There’s something about producing a tangible product because you’re responsible for yourself, you’re responsible for your craft.
Brian: Did you go through a hippie phase in your adolescence or your young adulthood?
Theo: Not really. I joined the military right after high school but I went through a rebellious phase for sure. I got into motorcycles, alcohol, drugs. Marijuana. I guess I’ve tried a whole lot of things but they never really appealed to me. I had an older brother who wa san addict and that was a cautionary tale.
Brian: What about your attraction to coffee? How did that start?
Theo: I think it’s universal in American society but I do remember my first cup of good coffee. It was a cup of Guatemalan coffee that I had in a little cafe in Cleveland, Ohio, where I later learned to roast coffee. That was probably in 1977. That’s when the light went on. It was startling for me to realize that something that I thought I enjoyed could actually be so much better than what I was enjoying. About a year later, after I lost my job at a restaurant, I walked over to the coffee shop and told the owner, “You know, I’m out of work,” and he said, “I’ll give you a job,”and I went to work. I started learning how to roast coffee. That’s when I realized this was what I really wanted to do.
Read the full interview here: http://www.marquettemagazine.com/straighttalk-with-theo-mccracken/