What are Leafsters? We are an eclectic team of tea lovers coming together to serve some of the most wonderful teas in the world. We are foodies who enjoy the minutia of flavor. We are simple folk breaking down the snootiness of tea. We are lovers of the leaf.
George Grossman: Chief Leafster
George likes creating connections, taking photographs and drinking tea. He recently won the Business Innovator of the Year Award from Visit Fort Collins for creating the Fort Collins Foodie Walk. Beside Happy Lucky's he is the co-founder of Sustainable Schools International, a non-profit supporting education in Cambodia.
- Favorite Tea(s): Taiwan Wenshan Baozhong
- Interesting Fact: Hiked the Appalachian Trail
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since conception
- Other Useful Item: Totally convinced that REM is the greatest rock-n-roll band ever. Please humor him.
Andy Boone: Manager And Master Blender
Andy’s background is as colorful as his blending, having backpacked Hawaii, honeymooned in Cambodia, served as roadie/spiritual advisor for a touring rock band, as well as being a wedding officiant. Andy began his tea career in 2001 in a little tea shop in rural Missouri, where he realized his talent and passion for “tasty beverage”. He has also studied Yoga, Tai Chi, Kuk Sool Won (traditional Korean martial system), and flatpicking guitar. He married in 2012, and he and his wife spend most of their free time chasing after their exuberant young children.
- Favorite Tea(s): When asked what his favorite tea was, he responds “Why would I just pick one?” Scottish B-fast/American Roots/Glenburn Autumn Oolong, strangely, not mixed though.
- Interesting Fact: Once wore an Elmo costume and did strange things with a Teletubby on stage in front of thousands of people as an opening act for The Chemical Brothers.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since September 2009
- Other Useful Item: Also blends cereals, soups and salsas—not necessarily all together.
Joe Anderson: Product / Inventory Manager
Joe is the teahouse philosopher and caffeine wimp. Give him more than a cup or two of something brisk and you're bound to hear a diatribe on how Socrates would have led a better life if Long Jing, rather than hemlock, had been his drink of choice. Despite his stimulant-handling inadequacies, Joe has been a tea fan for years, using it to fuel his favorite pursuits of Lindy Hop, going fast on bicycles, practicing senchado, and reading analytic philosophy.
- Favorite Tea(s): The green kind from Japan
- Interesting Fact: Car free. Five bicycles.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: October 2009
- Other Useful Item: Believes a caffeine buzz is what you need to get through Wittgenstein—For if the world is all that is the case, and tea is within the world, then tea is most definitely the case.
Olivia Marks: Store Manager and Leafster
Despite being raised in a small town in Idaho, Olivia developed an interest for travel and multiculturalism at a young age. Since moving to Fort Collins in 2009, she's earned a BA in Spanish and International Studies, and also studied abroad in Costa Rica. Olivia feels both "happy" and "lucky" to be a part of the Teahouse because she's surrounded with high quality tea and tea lovers. When not slingin' tasty beverages she enjoys the outdoors, cycling, cooking, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.
- Favorite Tea(s): Among her "top 25" are China Royal Phoenix Oolong, Khongea 2nd Flush Assam, Oriental Beauty, and American Roots...
- Interesting Fact: Olivia's pup Bambi is internet famous!! and he is a prince.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since March 2014
- Other Useful Item: A pot of tea + baby animal videos can brighten anyone's day.
Sam Aun: Leafster
Sam has a very interesting life journey. He is a learner, strategic, positivity, motivated to improve his own life, as well as all human beings. He has a quiet strength.
Sam graduated business college in Cambodia. He worked for a marketing research company for six years, that allowed him to explore southeast Asia. He met his wife on a medical mission through the United Methodist Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM), which led to their marriage, and his move to the U.S. in 2010.
Sam started his first job at Happy Lucky's as a dishwasher. His other interest is he read over 60 business books.
- Favorite Tea(s): Tea from Darjeeling and Glenburn Autumn Oolong
- Interesting Fact: Likes to play golf and tennis
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since December 2010
- Other Useful Item: Helping customers to select a favorite tasty tea is his forte.
Melanie Coons: Leafster
Melanie is a wanderlust tea lover. An avid hug holder. A health conscious, wine drinking, cookie addict. An inspiring interpretive dancer, battling clumsiness since birth. A random hand-stander. A sunrise chaser. A hopeless romantic. A giggle fanatic. Just a dreamer, learning to balance all life has to offer!
- Favorite Tea(s): Black Dragon Oolong & bunny tea!
- Interesting Fact: I can juggle!
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since October 2016
Bryce Miller: Leafster
Bryce recently received a degree in general mathematics from Colorado State University, but he has also an immense love of tea and cooking. Older sightings frequently mentioned his use of rollerblades, for getting to class or work, but recent reports have differed, describing his just having a "consistently brisk walking pace, with intermittent periods of sprinting". He completes his day with a good book and opinionated blogging.
- Favorite Tea(s): Malawi Zomba Pearls, Genmaicha, Chocolate Chai
- Interesting Fact: Loves music, plays trombone, and sings.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since June, 2014
- Other Useful Item: Loves hearing about the art that people like and eats a lot of tuna. CAT LIFE
Rich Morley (A.K.A. Amardev Singh): Leafster
Rich is a certified Kundalini yoga instructor since 2010 and baptized Sikh since 2011. Although he may come across as a quiet individual, if the conversation hits the right topic you will see his eyes light up, and any shyness fall by the wayside. He is a rare Fort Collins native (most everyone here is a transplant) and loves this city as much as the rest of us transients whom sought it out. When he is not at the tea shop Rich is likely playing guitar, frisbee golf, or harnessing his skill set with his collection of swords and blades.
- Favorite Tea(s): Milk Oolong, Tieguanyin
- Interesting Fact: Learning very, very slowly to speak Punjabi
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since September 2014
- Other Useful Items: His wife told me he loves "The Office." I dunno, but that's what she said.
Jose Serrano: Leafster
They say an awe-inspiring man is born only once a year. In the year of the snake, 1989, Jose Gabriel Serrano was that man. He is gorgeous, yet dreary; gentle, yet aggressive; heroic, yet fearful; mysterious, yet transparent. All this and much more can be said of the man of a thousand words.
As a little boy, Jose learned the ways of the world. Deep in the thick jungles of El Salvador, he learned compassion for the creatures of Earth. Many a times, he battled horrific beasts in an effort to save the defenseless and less fortunate. In response to the many heroic deeds in his village, he was dubbed the Latino Robin Hood, or “El Robin Hood.” These struggles, and the many more he endured, thickened Jose’s skin and made him the man he is today.
In 2015 Jose accomplished perhaps his greatest journey to date, he became the first person in his family to graduate from college. Today, he spends his time at Jefferson High School, teaching our young to become better people. Although the road has been long and treacherous, his journey is yet to end.
- Favorite Tea(s): Glenburn Autumn Oolong and Nepal Emerald Green
- Interesting Fact: In his spare time Jose enjoys helping elderly women cross the street, saving helpless kittens trapped in trees, and helping girl scouts sell their cookies.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since November 2016
Dylan Smith: Leafster
Not many things are known about Dylan, but this is a fact…he loves drinking plant matter. Elusive and mysterious, Dylan sightings are rare and any photographs taken of him are usually blurry or partially obscured by mist. Dylan is fine with this. He is most likely to be found in his natural environment (tea shops) or around his favorite energy source (caffeine). What we do know is he graduated from the Equinox School of Herbal Studies in 2015 and is now attending the World Tea Academy. He has a passion for making delicious teas, tasty tisanes, and bitter brews. The rest is only speculation.
- Favorite Teas: Don’t you know? I love Darjeeling’s darling…
- Interesting Fact: Is not actually a cryptid.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since October 2016
- Other Useful item: Loves red velvet, gold paint, mirrors, and chairs shaped liked birds. All of these are in his home.
A beverage enthusiast and raconteur, Whitney is usually pairing beverages with conversation. He has a healthy wine background to compliment his tea knowledge. He’s a Fort Collins native and at one point used to moonlight as a male model.
- Favorite Teas: Kukicha and Di Di Dao Dao Hong Cha
- Interesting Fact: Was once thrown to the floor by Steven Segal
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since November 2016
- Other Useful item: Really likes aphorisms and the poet Yahia Lababidi. Favorite hobby is turning left.
Courtney Van Evera: Honorary Leafster and Blogger
Courtney is a lover of stories. Upon meeting her, it's likely she will ask you questions until she gets one out of you, or just tell you one of her own. She loves the stories of the world, so she graduated with a BA in History as a certified teacher. She has traveled around the world, including Europe, El Salvador, Nepal, and East Asia, going on adventures, learning, drinking tea, and gathering stories. Courtney loves to impart the stories of historical and cultural context of teas at Happy Lucky's, and is eager to learn more!
- Favorite Teas: China Dragonwell 龙井查, Darjeeling Second Flush, China White Peony 中国白查
- Interesting Fact: Even after a short stint as a barista, Courtney has never consumed a cup of coffee.
- Time at Happy Lucky's: Since October 2014
- Other Useful item: The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God.
Kari Grady Grossman: Pineapple Princess
Kari is the Author of Bones That Float, A Story of Adopting Cambodia, winner of the 2008 “Peacemaker of the Year” Award from the Independent Publisher’s Association and a Gold Nautilus Book Award for World Changing Books. She is the co-owner of Happy Lucky's, and Co-Founder of Sustainable Schools International.
- Favorite Tea(s): Korean Sejak
- Interesting Fact: Even with so many teas to choose from still drinks coffee in the morning
- Time at HappyLucky's: Since conception
- Other Useful Item: Believes all roads lead to OOLONG.
Sean Grady: Leafster
Lillie Hattman: Leafster
Jason Makris: Leafster
Connor Moore: Leafster