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About Us

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At Vertex Coffee Roasters we strive to honor the entire coffee process and the people involved by serving high quality coffee and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.  We care about sharing and committing to zero waste practices, ushering opportunities for creativity and the arts, providing space for public events, and bringing communities together alongside providing high quality coffee.

Our Team

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KARA

(she/her) is our co-owner and roaster.  She taught K-8 music and studied voice performance before stepping full time into the coffee industry.  She is a calm optimist, zero waste lifestyle striver, and is very motivated to further her knowledge of coffee and people. 

Location: Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti

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MACKENZIE

(they/them), co-owner at Vertex and Kara's wife, did all the wood work you see on the walls at Vertex and is great at fixing things. They work as a manager at the Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor. They love dad jokes and taking care of @luminosityfarms with Kara. Mackenzie cares so deeply about people and Vertex is lucky to have them.

Location: Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti

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GABRIELA

(she/her) is our Events Coordinator. Gabriela is passionate about networking, making personal connections, and building the bridges that help Ypsilanti's community thrive. She’s had the pleasure of co-hosting fundraisers, live performances, and dance parties for the past ten years and is thrilled to be a part of the Vertex Community. She finds simple pleasures in a black cup of coffee, true crime documentaries and houseplants.

Location: Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti

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NATE

(he/him) is a lifetime-learner, and one of his favorite things to learn about is coffee! He also loves writing and playing music, caring for his ever-increasing collection of house plants, and taking on any project where he can fix or create something. On the weekends, you might spot him playing a show as one half of an indy-jazz-pop duo.

Location: Ann Arbor

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HEATHER

(she/they) is our cafe manager and an experienced barista whose eclectic interests have given her the opportunity to delve into speciality  coffee and work towards lifting our local community through art, music, and caffeinated beverages. You can often find her singing along to folk rock, reading comics, doodling, and playing with her cats.

Location: Ypsilanti

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CAIT

(she/her) is super excited to be apart of Vertex and joining the local coffee community. She is currently a fashion major at Central Michigan University and runs a small online thrift business. In her free time, you can find her thrifting, exploring new places in town, cooking something delicious, and hanging with her cats Arlo and Jasper.

Location: Ypsilanti

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MICHAEL

(he/him) is a coffee enthusiast and professional audio engineer. He loves being able to make people happy with a fresh cup of coffee. Before Vertex, he worked in Los Angeles, in film, tv, and video game scoring. In Ann Arbor, Michael works remotely as a mixing and mastering engineer, as well as an orchestral editor. He loves walking in the arboretum, having picnics in the law quad, and catching classic films in the Michigan theatre. When he’s not making delicious drinks with the Vertex team, Michael can be found listening to music, editing recordings, and playing with his cat Zuko.

Location: Ann Arbor

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JARED

(he/him) is a daily home brewer and aspiring cafe/roastery owner. He is excited to become a part of the local coffee scene and intends to remember as many names and orders as possible. A recent graduate of the Environmental Studies program at MSU, he would be happy to chat about all things ecology, environmental science, and anything else that comes to mind. When he isn't sharpening his skills behind the bar at Vertex you can find him at any local skatepark, asking for new albums to listen to, or going on long walks with his dog, Georgia.

Location: Ypsilanti

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B

(they/he) has a deep love for coffee, making people smile, and working where those two intersect! They graduated from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with their Masters degree and a concentration in Policy and Political Social Work, and are so excited to bring their passion for social justice and serving communities to Vertex. While not making your day better with a cup of coffee, you can find them listening to music, hanging out with friends (and their pets), or tending to their backyard garden!

Location: Ann Arbor

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AMANDA

(she/her) is an undergraduate student studying Psychology at University of Michigan. She hopes to one day be a mental health counselor. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing with her dog, and practicing her piano skills. She loves meeting new people and is excited to be a part of the Vertex community! 

Location: Ann Arbor

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TOM

(he/him) is currently an MBA student at the University of Michigan and aspires to one day own his own all-day cafe that is a resource and beacon of joy for the community. Tom sees coffee and conversation as an amazing way to know and serve neighbors, and aspires to one day cultivate a space like it. Tom aspires to use his career across consulting and small businesses to lift others up and inspire positive culture in the communities he finds himself in. When he isn't making coffee, you can find him struggling on the golf course or enjoying long runs in Ann Arbor!

Location: Ann Arbor

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DOUGY

(they/them) is excited to join the Vertex community and celebrate the craft of coffee. They are currently a master's student at the University of Michigan studying ecosystem science, so they are excited about everything sustainability-related. In their free time, you can find them hiking, splashing around in a lake, picnicking with friends, or hanging out with their one-eyed cat, Cup.

Location: Ann Arbor

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XANDER

(they/them) is a saxophonist at UofM majoring in jazz and contemporary improvisation. They are a caring individual who is always interested in learning, growing, and facilitating cool and unique experiences. Not only do they have a burning passion for coffee, but they also love to bike, cook, draw, and spend time outdoors. 

Location: Ann Arbor

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TATE

(he/him). In the midst of designing, traveling, reading books, and nurturing his plant collection, Tate passionately looks deeper into the world of coffee, seeking to enrich his expertise. Not only is he a barista but a graphic designer and illustrator. Using many different mediums, he consistently tries to express his unique perspective. Tate finds joy in discussing a variety of topics including music, art, and literature, with a particular fondness for fantasy novels.

Location: Ann Arbor

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HUNTER

(she/her) Hunter is an ypsi local artist and barista. When she isn’t serving up smiles at the Ypsilanti cafe, she is drawing at home with her black cat Calliope. 

Location: Ypsilanti

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AVANI

(She/her) is currently in undergrad at Eastern Michigan University majoring in International Business with a minor in Public Relations. Avani enjoys fashion and predicting future trends. She is an active participant in theatre participating in shows throughout the year. She loves music and will talk about almost any kind especially if it involves Prince. Avani may be new to the Vertex coffee community but not new to the coffee community as she runs her own coffee blog. She’s super excited to join us! 

Location: Ypsilanti

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CHLOÉ

(she/her) Chloé & Toast have been Ypsi residents for several years & are looking forward to welcoming Vertex to the neighborhood! Dedicated to uplifting small businesses, she is excited to contribute to a diverse team & interact more with her community. You can catch Chloé teaching at Fun Girl Dance Co. & School when she’s not making your favorite latté. 

Location: Ypsilanti

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