I grew up in a loving and supportive family in Tacoma, Washington. My father is a Vietnam veteran and served as a Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy for 33 years. My mother and stepmom are both strong women and small business owners who taught me a lot about life, love, and hard work.
Growing up in Tacoma, the home of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, I was always aware of the military and came into contact with many military kids whose parents served, but I never thought it was the life for me. Then I met Carl and fell head over heels in love. I got a taste of what was to come when we were separated for a six-month deployment while we were still dating. But little did I know of the wonders and challenges that lay ahead of me as a military spouse.
I came to understand the honor and sacrifice that became a part of our marriage. I cried and I laughed and tried to be strong when I was worried sick. I found out that when your husband went to war, watching the news sometimes made it worse.
I learned to lean on the community of other military spouses and to hold my family close and dear. And I learned that a strong cup of great coffee could help make a long sleepless night less devastating—after all, I am a Washington-state girl who loves good coffee.
Together Carl and I forged a deep, strong marriage and raised two wonderful children who bring us joy and pride. And when we decided to start Alpha Coffee, we wanted to do it together. We wanted to create a company that we would be proud of, one that reflected our commitment to the warrior lifestyle, and one that we could use to help support the community that had done so much for us. We hope you love our coffee as much as we do, and we hope you share it with people you love.
Like service, Alpha Coffee is a true family business. Our children, Trevor and Denái were integral parts of Alpha Coffee from its inception and continue to remain involved today.
I grew up an Army brat, born in Germany and raised on military bases all over the world. With a German mother and an Army father, my whole life was steeped in the warrior ethos and lifestyle. My family was full of veterans. My teachers and neighbors were Vietnam vets. My coaches were Airborne Rangers, and my Judo Instructor was a Green Beret. All these combat veterans continued to live the warrior lifestyle and led by example. They challenged me to live up to their standards across all aspects of life.
Growing up, I sought out challenges—academic, physical, and mental. And these made me stronger. I felt most at home in the outdoors, whether in the woods of Germany, the jungles of Panama, or the mountains of Utah. I proudly raised my right hand as a 17-year-old private and took my turn serving my country.
While serving as a U.S. Army soldier, I won an ROTC scholarship, earned my commission, served honorably, and after 21 years of service retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. I served in positions ranging from squad team leader to platoon leader, from LRS company commander to detachment commander . . . along with serving my time in staff officer purgatory. During my many deployments, I had the great fortune to serve with numerous outstanding individuals and teams. I have shared many a cup of coffee—both good and bad—with these warriors on cold mornings and late nights.
During deployments and overseas tours, I saw parts of the world most others don't experience and spent time working with my brothers and sisters in the other military services, the national intelligence community, and the special operations community. I gained great respect for all the armed forces of this great nation. The rivalries between the services I experienced then now act as bonds between the veterans I meet.
Every time I "reentered the atmosphere" coming back from a deployment, I used four things to get my head back on straight. I went into the outdoors to heal. I focused on physical challenge to combat stress, work out anger, and center myself. I embraced a warrior mentality of growth, learning, and focus on the future—the next mission. Finally, I made sure to spend time with the love of my life, to smile and talk and laugh over many cups of coffee.
Our life has been a wonderful, crazy, and challenging adventure through multiple deployments, numerous moves, financial setbacks, raising two amazing children, and starting our own small business. Along the way, we've held together and strengthened our relationship through our mutual love of the outdoors, a focus on physical fitness, cooking and enjoying good food and awesome coffee together, a never-quit attitude, and lots of communication and support. And despite every challenge, we are going strong and are proud to have our family working with us in the business.