Sean Brown – Impact Coffee
A Driftless Interview
What is your best childhood memory?
Canoeing the Upper Iowa or taking the pontoon out on the Mississippi
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
That’s tough. I would probably pick a different college besides Luther, not because I didn’t love Luther, but because I’m basically a townie for life right now, and it would’ve been fun to go to a school not in my hometown.
I wouldn’t change anything about my college experience at Luther, but I kind of wish I had gotten out of Decorah, at some point, either before or after college because I’m basically a townie for life right now (?)
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the business my parents and I have built (Impact Coffee). We have met a few bumps in the road along the way, but to see where we are today has made it all worth it.
What is your favorite music, song, or What ‘one’ song do you think a person should listen to at least once?
Picking music or having control of the aux cord is one of my biggest fears. I’m all over the place with music, from pop and rap to EDM or reggae. Pretty much anything but country!
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
Germany. My mom’s side of the family lives there and my most recent trip (planned for May 2020) got cancelled, so I’m very eager to rebook to go see the family and drink some awesome German beers.
If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be?
My dog, Lotti, my Surly fat bike and my iPhone.
What teacher in school made the most impact on you and why?
Ron Gesme. He was my middle school history teacher and high school tennis coach. One of the most honest and genuine people I have ever been around. He was a great storyteller and incredibly motivational on the tennis count. I still get to see him walk by the coffee shop almost every morning.
What was one of your most defining moments in life?
Choosing to attend Luther over other colleges. I met life-long friends there and made connections in the community that have helped me get to where I am today.
How do you spend your free-time?
Entertaining my puppy, fat biking, fly fishing and quoting The Office or Parks & Rec.
What are your favorite reads and why?
Either Trout Magazine or Barista Magazine. Trout Magazine always gives me ideas of places to travel someday for fly fishing trips. Barista Magazine is a great source for new ideas in the coffee industry, and especially now with Covid, it has been helpful to see what other shops similar to ours are doing to stay relevant and innovative.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
One time in the high school band I got my finger stuck in a trombone mute. The nurse wanted to send me to the ER to have the mute off, but my parents weren’t about to pay for an ER visit. So my mom brought me home so my Dad could cut it off with a sawzall. When I got to our house my Dad had already called his best friend to come help (and laugh at me). After they cut it off, I had to go back to school which was the worst because everyone in English class knew why I wasn’t in class on time.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?
Game 7 of the 2016 Cubs World Series win.
What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?
I’d like to learn how to tie flies, but I feel like I need to be 60, retired and have way more patience to do that.
What does a perfect day look like to you?
Coffee, hiking with the pup, and biking the trails around Decorah, beers at Pulpit Rock Brewery, dinner at Luna Valley and ending the night on the couch watching The Office or Parks and Rec for the 1000th time.
Sean Brown – Impact Coffee