Rising Star Artisan Colby Barr of Verve Coffee Roasters - Biography

Santa Cruz, CA

May 2013

Colby Barr grew up farming pears and wine grapes with his family tucked in the costal range of Northern California where he learned early on the relationships between farmers, processors, buyers, and consumers. In college (when not playing in a slew of live bands) he studied environmental geography and GIS, and then spent several years applying those skills in the field on natural disasters for FEMA and others as an independent contractor.

Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, when the opportunity arose up to purchase his favorite, local coffee shop, he took it. Soon he realized the incredible depth the coffee industry had to offer, and that he wanted to immerse himself into it all. After a year of successfully learning the ropes and growing the business, he contacted his college friend, Ryan O'Donovan, about taking the leap and starting a coffee roasting company together.

Verve opened its doors in the surfing neighborhood of Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz in November of 2007. With Colby's love of coffee and travel, and his experience in farming and supply chain management, he naturally took on the position of Green Coffee Buyer for Verve. In this role, he travels the globe over four months a year to discover and develop the finest coffees in the world, while still co-managing the company and it's direction.