Employee Profile: Laney Feeser

The Juan Pelota Cafe is one of our shop's greatest treasures. The vibe and quality of products complements the bikes we sell, and the cafe has built its own separate clientele of downtown employees and residents. If you've never been, swing by the next time you're out. The cafe has a knack of making every customer feel special.

Learn more about one of Pelota's star employees, Laney.

1. Where did you grow up and what brought you to Austin?

I grew up in rural central Pennsylvania near Hershey. I went to school in Philly and started working at Penn State Children’s Hospital as a nurse in the PICU. I worked there 5 years and decided I wanted a new adventure. I had never been to Austin (or even Texas) and didn’t know a single person here. That sounded perfect. I packed up what fit in my car and arrived 2 months later.


2. Anything in particular that drew you to the coffee industry?

I started drinking coffee when I began night shifts in the hospital. I drank a LOT of coffee, but always with cream and sugar and solely for the purpose of staying alert. Juan Pelota Café was the first place where I learned to appreciate and understand what good coffee is. I remember drinking my first chemex pour-over coffee here and wanted to learn more. I started working at the shop as a part-time barista while still working full-time as a nurse just so I could learn to make good coffee.

3. Favorite on shift beverage?

It’s a tie-- either espresso or a pour-over coffee depending on what’s in season. This very week? Definitely the Costa Rica Montes De Oro prepared as a bee house. It tastes like a caramel apple with a milk chocolate finish. ‘Nuff said.


4. Stumptown coffee is at the core of the cafe. Can you give me the run down on these guys, and what makes them unique?

Juan Pelota Café was the first café in Austin to start serving Stumptown Coffee, and we’re super proud of that. They started out as a single roastery in Portland, Oregon and have since opened roasteries in LA and NYC. We serve it exclusively because they, like the café, strive to provide not only the best quality product possible, but value their relationship with customers as equally important. The Stumptown dudes pop into the shop just to say hi on the regular and sometimes stay for finger tip pull-up competitions off the ceiling beams. I could keep rambling off so much Stumptown awesomeness, but instead just come in and try a cup.

5. Outside of cycling, you recently picked up a really nice Crockett and competed in your first cyclocross race, how was it?

I used to compete in collegiate slalom and GS ski racing. I didn’t know anything about cyclocross until coming to Juan Pelota. I went to cheer on my Mellow Johnny friends at my first cyclocross race and was shocked by how familiar it felt. Apart from the snow, there wasn’t too much of a difference, and I immediately knew I wanted a cross bike… and I knew I wanted to race. I bought the Crockett in September after months (a year actually) of serious peer pressure from my MJ co-workers to upgrade my bike, and I’m so happy I caved. I competed in my first race at Copperas Cove two weeks ago and had a blast. I stopped at the pit every lap because I broke my seat post about 5 minutes into my first lap, but I still finished. Everyone was super supportive and encouraging which makes me excited to get back out there. I’m also really pumped for Cross Nationals in Austin!

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