TJ Semanchin found his way to coffee in 1999 after working and traveling in Latin America, focusing on sustainable development. Convinced that fair trade, organic coffee was the best bet for farmers in Latin America, TJ returned to the States and has been involved in the coffee industry working for social change ever since. He is married with two children and likes to hit the trail on his mountain bike or x-country skis depending on the season.
For most of his adult life, Caleb Nicholes has been a professional gourmand, including three years as an importer of boutique European wines and nine years as a coffee roaster. His work in the wine industry took him all over France, Italy, and Spain where he learned that "if you run fast enough, you don't actually run with the bulls." Caleb is married with four children.
Director of Operations
Though he has not yet achieved his lifelong ambition of being the frontman of a T-Rex cover band, Luke Brekke enjoys living anyway. Kickapoo Coffee’s most veteran staffer, Luke sticks around because whatever he's doing--whether roasting, bagging coffee, or working on the big picture stuff--being at Kickapoo rarely feels like work. Of course, access to good coffee doesn't hurt either. Luke is a sucker for coffees from Kenya but is always on the lookout for those occasional knock-out lots from Honduras. He lives in La Crosse with his wife and two daughters.
Director of Marketing
Jamie Lamonde feels grateful to have worked in the organic and cooperative movements for her entire career. As a marketer, she has a deep commitment to nurturing positive social change through values-driven, education-based outreach. Her personal mission is to build bridges between family farmers and eaters to change the food system for the better. Jamie spends as much time playing outside as possible and lives nearby the beautiful Kickapoo Valley Reserve in rural Southwest Wisconsin with her husband, David and two sons, River and Ezra.
Cafe Sales & Education Manager
Josh Dugué is a coffee veteran with more than twenty years of experience in the specialty coffee industry - ranging from tech and training to sales and consultation. In addition to his coffee experience, Josh is a screenwriter and chef who enjoys living in Chicago with his family. When he’s not selling coffee, you’ll most likely find him either playing with his son Isaiah, cooking up something delicious or writing something for the screen. He’s even been known to try his hand at amateur stand-up comedy!
Grocery Sales Manager
Scott Weaver has a decade of not-for-profit and food cooperative management under his belt, and he often taps into this wealth of experience when serving our customers. Scott's interests in social justice, equitable and sustainable agriculture, and all things food make him a natural fit with the Kickapoo Coffee team. He, his wife, and three daughters enjoy spending time together in their hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Customer Support Coordinator
Havvah Spicer's love of food and fine beverages was nurtured from a young age and has continued throughout her career in the foodservice industry. Add in Havvah's enjoyment of working and connecting with people, and it's the perfect combination for her role as Kickapoo Coffee's customer support coordinator. Havvah is also a barista at our Viroqua cafe, a yoga instructor, dancer and mother of two beautiful children.
Lab, Sourcing & Education Coordinator
Alex Stoffregen has been home roasting coffee since he was 17 and soon after began roasting professionally in his hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin. He continued to refine his coffee knowledge while attending UW-La Crosse. His senior research thesis focused on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange for which he spent a month traveling in rural Ethiopia before starting with Kickapoo Coffee. As a foodie who is interested in travel and socially conscious trade models, coffee is a natural fit. Alex can be found in cafes, in restaurants, and around cupping tables around the world.
Before Jay Skrede joined the production team, he braved teaching middle schoolers for a decade and then worked in the food industry as a sales representative for nearly as long. When Jay isn't pulling espresso shots at home, you can find him on two wheels. Whether it be road, mountain or his favorite, cyclocross, Jay loves cycling around Vernon County, Wis. - a place his family has called home for four generations.
Akram Abed moved to the Driftless from the Philadelphia area. He earned an International Relations degree from Brown University and continued on to work with youth-focused organizations that supported and improved communities. New to the coffee industry, Akram is exuberant as he learns about coffee sourcing, roasting, brewing, and its ability to nourish coffee-growing communities abroad. Encouraged by the landscape, Akram, his partner Nora, and their dog Copper take hikes, paddles, and bike rides year-round.
Delivery & Production Assistant
Andrew Spayde has lived in a handful of states and overseas for a bit, but he has found his home in southwest Wisconsin. He is excited about the idea of small, community-oriented businesses transforming rural America, and he is honored to be a part of a business doing just that. Andrew and his wife are lucky enough to own a small piece of land in "the middle of nowhere," which they share with a rotating cast of animals, starring their two very good dogs, Addie and Tauga.
Roasting & Production Assistant
Jackie Sobolewski has been working with organic produce for her entire adult life, either on organic farms or at the Willy Street Co-op in Madison. She is excited to have moved into the coffee industry and to learn more about all things coffee and coffee roasting. Jackie enjoys traveling all over the world (especially by bike) and loves visiting farms along the way. Here in Wisconsin, you can find her riding her bike on the hilly roads, hiking, paddling, cross country skiing and anything that gets her outside year-round.
Milwaukee Cafe Co-owner & Manager
Scott Lucey has been a barista since 2002 and enjoys so much about working with coffee. He's been a leading member of the Specialty Coffee Association, most specifically with the Barista Guild of America (BGA). He served on the BGA's executive council for 7 years to help develop the extensive educational program that exists today as well as Barista Camp--both of which serve as milestones in many baristas’ careers. Scott has also been a barista competitor for numerous years, winning the 2009 Great Lakes Regional and that same year placing 3rd in the United States Barista Competition. Having a cafe of his own has long been a dream for Scott, and today you can find him in our Milwaukee cafe happily steering the ship.
Viroqua Cafe Co-owner & Manager
Allison Sandbeck joined the team to jump into production and get her hands on the roaster. After a lifetime of working in commercial kitchens, catering, cooking and baking, Allison decided to switch things up and learn the art of coffee. She's a New Yorker born and raised but has worn many hats and called many places home. Viroqua has provided a beautiful landscape to raise her 4 children, practice being athletic and literally fiddle around. Very soon you’ll find her managing our new cafe in Viroqua, serving up the perfect hometown experience.