By Joan Robbio
This periodic series of three images and responses to questions tells the stories of people of The Valley who love what they do. As Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
This month features Ryan Carr who works as a barista at the Three Mountain Café in Waitsfield – Carr has worked at the Café since 2020.
How long have you lived in Vermont and where did you grow up?
I’ve lived in Vermont since fall 2013 (Poultney) and the Mad River Valley since 2019. I grew up near the Farmington River in Connecticut.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Paleontologist - volunteer firefighter - Spiderman. Later, an international alpine guide.
What was your first job and how did you get it?
In middle school I taught mountain biking and developed a bike rental/trail network at a Scout camp in Watertown, CT. I got that job by following my high-school friends around as they prepared for a cross-country bicycle tour.
Who was the biggest influence in your decision to choose the work you now do?
My wife, Maggie Carr, chose the coffee industry and I came along as a barista, financial planner, a chef, handyman, and more than I bargained for. The coffee work has been made special through other connections in the industry, including KS Coffee and Nate and Nina (Local Donut).]
What steps did you take to get where you are today/what sacrifices have you made to get to this point in the work you do?
My culinary career started in the campsites around Lake George, where I learned to flip flapjacks over a camp stove in the rain. After that, I abandoned a career as an outdoor educator to ride along with Maggie’s new family business at Three Mountain Cafe. I’ve spent many nights developing a palate for espresso (and then burning the midnight oil over “Small Business for Dummies.”
What is the best job advice that you’ve ever received?
“Celebrate your success, expect disaster, and never let up on your plan.” (-R. Manners)
What are you most grateful for in your life?
My family’s tolerance for caffeinated mood swings.
How do you give back?
I’ve been a member of the Mad River Riders board for the past two years, and enjoy other opportunities to contribute to community wellness through a small, everyday business.
What do you do in your free time?
Sometimes I ski and ride bikes, but mostly I help my dogs be better trail buddies and river swimmers.
Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?
“You’re like a pencil; going to leave a mark, and ready to fix any mistake that you make.” (-C. Moon)