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Kristina Barnes
CEO & Co-Founder
Jittery John's Cold Brew Coffee
June 23, 2015

When did you know that you wanted to work in food?

I always had great/interesting non-food jobs, but I never had that thing  I wanted to dedicate my life to.
When our co-founder started making up his strange 'cold brew coffee' in odd jars from home,  long before it was on anyone's radar, I got hooked pretty quickly.  We knew then we had something special on our hands. And so Jittery John's was born!

How did you get your current good food job?

I made it!

How did your previous work or life experience prepared you for a good food job?

I have been a make-it-happen-er my whole life. (This is an actual term, did you know?) I also really like working, as it turns out. My previous jobs have all been making other people's realities come true (mostly digital and physical products). I think that laid a good foundation  for running my own business.

I am the first to admit that I learn something (many things!) new every day about owning and running a business, making and  selling my own product, and managing a staff of people. And I'm so happy I do!

What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your good food job dream?

This assumes that I don't regularly consider calling it quits! I'm kidding?but I do have my moments?
I persevere because people love what we're making - and because I love what we're making. Some people tell us we've changed their lives. And that they're 100% addicted to our product. I've started a wall of love - it has lots of nice quotes we've received from people over time. I hand write them on pink construction paper and cut it in the shape of a heart (can you tell I have kids?), and tape them up to the wall in our facility. I like to think that it helps not just me on the less awesome days, but my staff, too.

Name one positive thing that a former employee taught you that you continue to appreciate?

Both of my most trusted advisors tell me the same thing: Focus. (Thanks guys!)

I try to work on the things that matter most to the business. Unfortunately, that is a LOT of stuff. So really keying into what is critical for today is a skill I 'practice'. I say practice because I will work on perfecting this probably until the day I die. It's not that easy to do with a small business where you're wearing many hats - but super critical.

What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?

Knowing the people who produce your food is pretty amazing. Locally sourced, sustainably made, all those buzz words - they are pretty special, actually. I believe strongly in things that a human makes rather than things that a factory/assembly line makes.

If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

Chocolate? Praise? Yes. Pay me in chocolate and praise.

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