Dave and Erik speak with entrepreneur and coffee aficionado, Gerry Leary about his background as an auto mechanic and his later employment roasting gourmet coffee and running his own coffee shop. Gerry has been blind since birth but doesn’t let that be a barrier to diving into any field or industry he’s interested in and offers up what has led to his own success.
Gerry Leary is the founder of the coffee shop, Unseen Bean in Boulder, CO. Gerry has been blind since he was born but his lack of vision does not stop him from roasting coffee. You don’t need sight to roast coffee, you need a heart, and Gerry has a huge one. Before coffee, Gerry was an auto mechanic for 40+ years. He loved working with his dad in their garage growing up and was told he couldn’t work on cars as a blind person – which only made him determined to do so.
Gerry Leary’s passion for coffee began in 1994 when visiting a San Francisco cafe. He heard what sounded like a rock tumbler and discovered it was a coffee roaster. He realized then that coffee didn’t have to be flat and bitter, as coffee roasting was a true art form. Gerry’s visual impairment kept him from finding an apprenticeship in the coffee business. So he attended the San Francisco Coffee Training Institute and began a journey into the land of gourmet coffee roasting.
Visit Gerry’s website to purchase coffee: https://www.theunseenbean.com/
Check out his short film – a Vimeo Staff Pick – Roasting Coffee in the Dark
Listen to Gerry’s Filter Stories Episode here.