Mystery: How Does A Man This Mellow Deal In Coffee All Day?

January 19, 2010.


Each week, Scout poses 60 questions to a local who has made life in BC that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers (a Rorschach test, for sure). Barrett Jones answered all sixty. The mellow man tastes coffee for 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, organizes people who want to open cafes, and stands fast as the gatekeeper who decides whether you give a shit or should be better served by a different roaster.


Scout Q&A

Three things about the West End that make you want to stay there: It’s close to everything: seawall bike paths, tons of restaurants…the coffee is the shits though.

The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: I have a voracious Scandinavian sweet-tooth.

Default drink of choice: Water.

Drink you’ll never have again: a Screwdriver. It seemed like a bright idea at the time.

The one place you’d move to: NYC, or possibly to northern Florida

Favourite wine varietal: Champagne is pretty awesome, and yes, I know that’s not a varietal.

The person you can imitate: Vince Piccolo – my boss. And about half of the Muppets.

Beer of choice:
Anything in a bottle.

Bartender who could sell you anything: Ryan Cheverie at The Hamilton Street Grill.

The best thing about your job: Coffee breaks are legitimate work time.

Book you’re reading: Dress for Success by Dan MacKay and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.

Last place traveled: Atlanta, for a coffee show.

Biggest fear: Getting smoked by a car on my bike.

Cliche that you use too often:
“I have a purple belt in Internet Jiu-Jitsu”.

Dead film actor you wish was still making pictures: Heath Ledger.

Best sneaker in the world:
Pumas are pretty nice, but I’m usually in boots.

Place in BC that you love escaping to:
The bottom of Howe Sound.

Your paternal grandfather’s personal story:
He signed up for the US Navy at 17, was a torpedoman on an S-boat in the Pacific. He got out, and got recalled for the Korean War. After he got out the last time, he and grandma were ranchers and eventually they moved to Canada. He worked in town, while grandma ran the ranch and raised my dad.

Under what circumstances would you join the army: I don’t think there are any.

Your mentors: My friends Francis and Kirk: good souls and smart men. Everyone involved with the Woodville Karst Plain Project (research, exploration and conservation of underground water system in northern Florida).

Dumbest purchase ever: A blackberry. What a piece of junk. Too little memory, they think macs don’t exist, the browser sucks…..

What are you proud of: I went back to UBC in 2007 to work on finishing my degree.

The thing that makes you the angriest: Forgetting the Geneva Conventions.

Saddest thing about Vancouver: Drugs, drugs, drugs.

Most challenging thing about living in Vancouver: It was hard to meet people when I first moved here, but now, the hardest thing is going to work in the summertime.

Favourite restaurant in Vancouver: Hamilton Street Grill to get my red meat on.

Your nickname growing up: Jonesy.

Talent you wish you possessed: Magic.

The trend you wish you never followed, but did: the 80s: neon, overalls, the mullet, Hammer pants.

Musical instrument you long to play:
The piano.

Sport you gave up:
Baseball. Regret it.

Foreign politician you most admire: Al Gore.

The game you’re best at: Scrabble.

Three songs on your current playlist: Hawai’i ’78 – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Hearts Alive – Mastodon, Tricky Sandman – Run-DMC vs Metallica – DJ M.I.F.

Somewhere within an hour of Vancouver that few may have heard about but is worth checking out: Porteau Cove. Pull off the highway and breathe for a second. It’s pretty stunning.

The number of fist fights you’ve been in: I grew up in Saskatchewan, before anyone had heard of a Time Out, so…a few. Most memorable was during skating lessons: he never picked on my brother again.

The scariest situation you’ve ever been in: Nearly getting T-boned on a gravel road when I was about 17. It was Ford Escort vs. pickup.

BC chef that you admire most: David Hawksworth.

The thing you’re ashamed of: A couple of failed friendships.

Best concert experience ever: Watching my brother play his first open mic night.

Aspect of your personality you wish you could change: I’d like to be able to dabble in things, and not get deeply involved.

How you waste time at work: Go downstairs and cup some coffees – although I take my phone or computer with me to work in between rounds.

The thing you wished people cared more about: Quality. Pride in what they do.

The thing that makes you the most nervous: Heights.

Town you were born in: Kindersley, SK.

Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: MASH, Star Trek: TNG or DS9.

First memory: Losing half a toy semi in the snowbank in Uranium City. Mom and I were going to visit, and I dropped it off the front steps. The lady we were visiting found it when the snow melted, and I think my parents still have it today.

Favourite book as a child: The Hardy Boys.

Quality you admire most in yourself: My work ethic.

Album that first made you love music: Letters … And Numbers, Too (1974)

Default junk food of choice: Cherry Garcia.

The career path you considered but never followed: Medicine.

The one country that you have no interest in ever visiting:
Mozambique sounds pretty scary. Any time a nation has an AK-47 on their flag, I take heed.

Your top three films of all time: Back to the Future (any), The Deerhunter, An Inconvenient Truth

The first three things you do every morning:
The 3 S’s. Well, 2 of them. It’s Vancouver, no one shaves daily.

The thing you’re addicted to: Information. I’m a voracious reader.

Biggest hope: to Do It Right.

Luckiest moment of your life: My dad stopped to talk to a stranger on the side of the road, and he ended up getting me an interview for a summer job. That summer job resulted in me not going to the U of S that fall. Instead, I travelled with them, stayed on for a year, made a few trips to Vancouver, and ended up moving here and going to UBC instead.

The dish you’re most proud of: The perfect drip coffee. I love black coffee – but most places – to save a few pennies – cut corners. I used to calibrate brewers all on taste: so I’d go in, and adjust the grinder brew a batch – it would take a couple hours. Now, I use electronics. It takes the guess-work out, and goes faster. And once it’s set, it’s so easy to replicate batch after batch.

Three things of no monetary value that you will keep until you die: Photos – yep, there are some that I would never sell. My old baseball glove. A pocket knife that belonged to my great grandfather.


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