Chris Phillips of Bear Hive Lives Off Coffee Beans

Categories: Interviews

chris-phillips-jon-gitchoff.jpg
Jon Gitchoff
Chris Phillips (left) is a coffee master by day, indie-rock frontman by night.

Most musicians split their time between writing songs and paying the bills. The two aren't mutually exclusive, but many artists tend to slow their craft in order to make ends meet (hence the phrase "starving artist"). Chris Phillips, frontman for local band Bear Hive, spends his days cherry-picking coffee beans for Maplewood café ArtHouse, so he might be better described as a "caffeinated artist."

"It's disrespectful to make music without two feet in. I saw an opportunity to say, 'Wait a minute! What if by the time I am 28 I can be a little more self-sustainable and make more art?'" As the director of coffees at ArtHouse, Phillips has a position overseeing brand marketing while working on the café's expansion.

"My now business partner Nate Larson and I had been best friends for several years and played in the Good Pyramid and Yugen together. His Dad, Barry Larson, who owns ArtHouse, had two commercial roasters that I don't think he knew what potential they had. I told him, 'I see something you're not doing, and I want to do it for you.' He hired me part time to do work for him. Eventually, the couple workers that were there left, and I took over full time." Phillips says.

Continue for more with Chris Phillips and his work with ArtHouse.


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