Chritian Johnson - Spyhouse

What do you feel is the most meaningful/fulfilling part of the work you do?

The most fulfilling part of the job would have to be creating something out of nothing, and turning it into a local brand that progresses and matures with time and experience.

I realize success could be measured in terms of monetary value, but for me, success comes from working hard and creating a social environment that offers people an escape from the other daily routines of life. It comes with collaborating with others—from coffee producers and importers/exporters, to our baristas that serve a desired product with professionalism and care. I have been very fortunate to have the longevity and success I have had, and I thank all of our loyal customers and talented staff for making that success realized.
 
How would you describe your creative process? 

Creativity does not only comes from within, but is inspired by those around you. The creative process for me is driven by inspiration from film, music, fashion, design, and my love of antiques. I have also always found a cathartic release from photography and writing. 

What is it about the place you chose as your escape that inspires your work?

Playing hockey has been a big part of my life since I was little. When I'm on the ice, it feels as if nothing has changed since childhood (other than maybe being a little slower). The teamwork and camaraderie that I've experienced in play has translated to a desire to strengthen and grow our little team of coffee professionals—all while be sure to have fun.

We travel to coffee-producing countries throughout the year, and that feeling of being on the ice is similar to our travels. All the challenges and weight of the daily grind cease to exist when we're on these trips, or when I'm on the ice.

What drove you to be an entrepreneur? 

I would definitely say that my entrepreneurial spirit began with my first paper route from the age of ten through the beginning of high school sports. Having the responsibility of delivering people the daily news (keep in mind, this is prior to the internet), and being accountable for the administrative functions at an early age really shaped my understanding of “goods and services.”

I miss that route. Whenever I return to Fargo, I pay a visit to my old 'hood and paper route.