Barista Profile: James Kilker (aka Jimmy Kittens)

Jimmy Kittens has gone from barista, to shop manager, to his new role as operations manager, where he will focus on making sure all Booskerdoo employees have the tools, skills and knowledge they need to make each Booskerdoo drink and experience fantastic. Julie sat down with him to discuss coffee and a bit of what it goes in to getting thousands of cups of coffee out the door successfully.

James Kilker
Operations Manager
2+ years at Booskerdoo, 4 years in coffee biz

When did you get interested in coffee?

I started drinking coffee at a pretty young age… I was probably about 12 or 13. I have always been interested in food—if I had to do it again, I might have gone to culinary school. I really enjoy cooking, hosting dinner parties, seeking out and eating good food and drinking great coffee. I see coffee as an essential part of that picture.

I had worked in coffee and at a coffee roaster for a few years, but Booskerdoo marked my introduction to espresso drinks, and that has been a whole new world.

What is your role at Booskerdoo?

I started two-years ago as a barista and manager of the Middletown shop. Now that we are growing and opening new shops, I am a moving into a new role where I am helping to develop and create new processes and products. I will oversee employee training, help enhance what is already a positive company culture with an eye to improve the experience for our employees and ultimately our customers. 

I really like to help people and work behind the scenes--making sure everything is running smoothly. I love taking on a new challenge and being a part of building this cool, growing organization in a thoughtful and positive way.

What do you like best about working at Booskerdoo?

It’s really a positive, family-oriented culture here … Family in the sense that we are all in this together. We’re creating a quality brand, making great coffee, and building this great company from the ground up. It’s a passion that is shared by literally everyone that works here.

What is your ultimate goal?

Eventually I would like to have my own place . Create a welcoming space in a small city or interesting town that would serve great coffee and great food.

Your favorite Booskerdoo roast and coffee drink?

I love making a small, perfect latte, drinking a Serious Black, which is sort of a more intense version of an Americano (greater espresso to water ratio). Lately, at home I have been drinking Turkish coffee, but my favorite Booskerdoo blend is River City. I am a big fan of medium-roast coffees and our River City has chocolaty tones with a little fruit. Its kind of perfect.

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