Who Are These People?
Windward Coffee Co. is a Northern Ohio-based, family owned roastery operated by the husband and wife crew of Dave Hoffmann, who holds the lofty and often meaningless title of Proprietor, and Regina Shaw, our much-needed and much more important Director of Rational Thinking.
Dave says few things are more natural to him than spending his days roasting coffee and talking to customers across the country. But Regina, with her CPA and senior executive experience in the luxury hospitality, restaurant and commercial real estate industries, brings a healthy dose of common sense and business acumen to the table. She says he’s humoring himself.
In defense, he points out that as a kid summering on his aunt’s Pennsylvania dairy farm and at the family’s fishing camp on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, one of his daily chores was to roast up a batch of coffee using a hand-cranked roasting pan held over the coals of a wood-fired stove.
Now that might sound romantic, but despite having all the down-home trappings of a Hallmark movie (cue the chirping birds, chattering chipmunks, lowing cows and the muffled slap of waves lapping against a beached canoe punctuated by the occasional roar of a miffed bear), he admits: “Cranking that thing over a hot fire was terrible. I usually burned myself and wound up despising every minute of it.”
Roaster Boy Meets Specialty Coffee
It's been a long road from those hot stoves in the woods to the launch of Windward Coffee. “I blame it all on my caffeine-fueled career decisions,” Dave says. The journey started at the age of 13 when he began a successful early career as a performer and studio musician. Fifteen years later, he followed that up with a long stint in the film and television business where he traveled the world writing, producing and directing award-winning films, videos, commercials and live shows, all while doing his best to drink the world dry of coffee (and, he notes, doing a remarkably fine job on the beer too!)
Just prior to opening Windward, he spent a decade as the founding Editor-in-Chief and associate publisher of a respected global trade magazine that covered formulation, manufacturing and marketing developments in the chocolate and confectionery industries. Yumm!
He still writes for a number of publications, but after years toiling in the technology- and deadline-driven worlds of entertainment and communications, he was looking for a outlet that would engage not just his imagination, but all his senses. It was the start of a journey that with a bit of serendipity and a lot of support from Regina, resulted in the formation of Windward Coffee Co.