Meet Paul Waitinas, owner of Paul’s Coffee & Tea, a locally owned and operated micro-roastery and full-service coffee shop in Louisville. He is a professional bassist of the bands Rapidgrass, Slipstream and others.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: I’ve been in and out of the coffee for about 25 years. I had been a professional musician for many years and I got tired of being on the road and not making any money. I realized that I would do the other thing that I really wanted do which is coffee. I started as a barista and then manager, at roasters, helped start shops for other people, and then I finally ended doing my own thing. I know what I’m doing, I’ve worked really hard, and we’ve been here for 10 years.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Louisville and Lafayette, and what do you love there?
A: I’ve always loved Efrain’s. The place is always packed and their green chili is awesome. I used to loved going to an old dive bar sponsored by the Colorado Blues Society and you could see some of the best blues in the world there. You’d stick to the tables and chairs, it was gross, but they had the best music ever.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Louisville and Lafayette?
A: I moved out here Labor Day weekend in 1994. I was first in Summit County for about 6 years. Then I was in south Boulder for 4 or 5 years. Paul’s Coffee & Tea will be 10 years in March.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: I ‘d probably go to Hawaii. Just to hang out and relax and enjoy.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: First movie I saw was Snow White when I was 4 years old. And my grandmother took me to Jaws when I was 5 years old because she thought it was a movie about a fish. I ran out of the theatre screaming!
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: Support local businesses instead of chains. Don’t be @#*-hole to other people. There are so many good businesses and places here that people work their tail off, just support them. We don’t need to go to fast food chains for breakfast. Definitely support local.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Louisville and Lafayette.
A: Our customer name Doug that’s a total character. A group of Australian and New Zealand guys that live around here, they are so hilarious. They all know each other and they all hang out here every Wednesday afternoon for 3 hours, which is what I wanted for this place – to have community.
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Louisville and Lafayette?
A: Efrain’s is one, Waterloo has became a staple and Lulu’s BBQ as well. Empire has been really good. There are lots of cool restaurants that will end up being staples. Wildwood Guitars – I’ve bought so many guitars from that guy – they’re one of the biggest dealers of Fenders and Martins, it’s an institution . Lafayette Flea Market it is pretty darn cool. The Post has also become a fixture.
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Louisville and Lafayette would you have lunch?
A: I would take young Elvis to Efrain’s and see what he thought. I think that would be hilarious.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: I’ll probably be here roasting coffee.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Louisville and Lafayette?
A: I like that it’s not Boulder, but it’s close if I have to go in Boulder. Everything around here is super centrally located. There’s a lot of convenience factor that really makes it worthwhile. Louisville and Lafayette have always been these cool little towns outside of Boulder.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I am a huge Cleveland Browns fan and a lot of people wouldn’t realize, it’s where I’m from. Most people don’t know I wrestled in college. I played music forever in a bunch of touring bluegrass bands. I was the upright bassist. Every now and then one of the songs from a band I was in will come on Pandora.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Louisville and Lafayette are home for me, Paul’s Coffee & Tea is certainly home. Cleveland is home, even though I don’t live there anymore. For me home is not a house, it’s a way of thinking about something. It’s not where you live, it’s what you do with it.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: I don’t know, just place me as a special guest of a Doctor Who episode.
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: I would like to have a nanny now that I have a 5 month old baby. A nanny/housekeeper would be amazing for me and my wife.