Doug Swenson

My day job is co-owner of Café Social. My partner, Omar Lopez Villamor, and I started with mobile coffee “shops” about five years ago after Omar finished his MBA. We were looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity and coffee was a great fit as Omar’s sister, Diana, runs a coffee farm in Colombia that we could source our coffee from.

Based on the success of the mobile shops, we started searching for a place to open a retail establishment. We were looking at a potential rental when we noticed the apartment building going up across the street appeared to have space for a coffee shop. We talked to the developers, learned they were looking for someone to open a coffee shop on their first floor and decided to make the leap. Our Madison shop opened in August 2016 and we’ve since opened a second shop at one of the same developer’s buildings in Champaign, Illinois.

My other day job is events services account manager for Sonic Foundry. I travel the country—and sometimes the world—recording large conferences for our clients.

My most memorable caffeine was sitting at an outdoor café in Colombia near where Omar’s family lives. The weather is always perfect and family and friends meet at the café throughout the day to have a cortado, a small cappuccino, or a tintico, a small, dark coffee often served with panela, raw cane sugar. It’s such a happy and relaxed setting. It really is like paradise.

My current caffeine of choice is a cortado or I also enjoy a fluffy espresso, which is a Café Social specialty and is espresso poured over whipped cream. We stock Café Social coffee at Sonic Foundry and I drink mugs of dark roast when I’m at work.

My favorite place for caffeine is, of course, Café Social.

 The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Omar. Our schedules can sometimes be so different that we don’t always have the chance to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee together. I look forward to weekend mornings when we don’t have anywhere to go and we can sit and drink our own coffee—or even someone else’s—and then discuss the experience.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine:  The whole idea behind Café Social was to create a place where people could come together and have conversations over coffee. If we took the time to talk, listen and be conscious of one another and what we share, that could change the world. We need that right now.