MLA Boston University, Boston MA
Liberal Arts in Gastronomy, January 2015
BA Hampshire College, Amherst MA
Studio Art, May 2007
Study Abroad: School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA,
Fall 2005/Spring 2006
Selected Professional Experience
Retail Executive Officer, Barismo 2016- Present
Responsibilities include staffing, systems development, and troubleshooting for three retail locations.
Artist-in-Residence & Production Coordinator, Barismo 2015-2016
Responsible for steering brand strategy and for the development of visual and written content for a small batch boutique coffee roaster. Production coordination responsibilities also include bookkeeping, packing and shipping of product, and general organization at the roastery.
Founder, Owner & Operator, Voltage Coffee & Art 2010-2015
Received venture capital backing to launch a coffeehouse and gallery in Cambridge, MA. Oversaw design and build-out of the space, then ran it for five years before vertically integrating with Barismo. Responsibilities included hiring, training and management of many employees, all bookkeeping and financial management, recipe development and ergonomic problem solving.
Founder, Voltage Coffee Espresso Catering 2008-2010
Conceived, planned and created a mobile espresso bar using funding from a micro lending program. Catered a wide variety of events, which ranged from weekly engagements at advertising agencies to bridal showers and late-night parties at hip loft spaces.
Selected Interviews and Media
2015- “Barismo taking over Voltage Coffee, Kendall Square meeting spot”. by Scott Kirsner. BetaBoston.com. The Boston Globe.
2014- “Industrial Arts: Lucy Valena of Voltage Coffee and Art.” by Christine Fernsebner Eslao. OpusAffair.com.
2014- “Gallery Spotlight: Voltage Coffee & Art.” by Puloma Ghosh. Artscope.
2011- “Single Source Cocoa the Hottest Trend.” by Thomas Grillo. The Boston Herald.
2011- “Specialty Coffee Shops Taking Off.” by Kathleen Pierce. The Boston Globe.
2010- “Voltage Coffee & Art.” by Julia Rappaport. The Boston Herald.
2010- “Coffee Shop Investor Hopes to Percolate Deal Flow.” by Galen Moore. Boston Business Journal.
2009- “Bringing the Caffeine to the People.” Prod. by Stephanie Elam. CNN.
2009- “Who is Lucy Valena and Why Does She Rock Our Socks Off?” by Julie Soforenko. Main Street Microfinance. AccionEast.org.
Professional Honors and Accomplishments
2013- Winner, Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
2013- Graduate, Streetwise ‘MBA’ Program, Interise.
Listed as a “Drinks Expert Inspired by Our Books” (the Flavor Bible) on the website of the authors. http://www.karenandandrew.com/drinksexpertsinspiredbyourbooks
Praise for Voltage Coffee & Art
“Best Coffeeshop 2011”- Improper Bostonian.
“Official Clubhouse of the Boston Tech Scene”- Vanity Fair.
2015- “Caffeine and Alcohol“. The Global History of Food. Boston University.
2015- Guest Speaker. Women in Business. Hampshire College.
2014 & 2015 - Guest Speaker. Food Biz 101. CropCircle Kitchen.
2014- Panelist. Young Alumni Panel. Hampshire College.
2014- Panelist. Women in Business. Hampshire College.
Other Activities & Projects
2015- Creative Lead, Bait/Switch Project, Boston MA
Conceived and directed this experimental (and as of yet unpublished) project. Designed to connect artists, writers, composers and bartenders to each other, the project took the form of a synesthesic game of exquisite corpse which lasted all summer.
2013- Co-organizer, The Foundry Equation, Cambridge MA
Conceived and co-directed a one day event to draw attention to a disused city building and promote its eventual use as an arts space. Coordinating with other gallery owners and community organizers, we provided art activities and gave emerging artists space to showcase their works for public viewing. Over five hundred people attended the event.
2012- Attendee, Clinton Global Initiative, Chicago IL
Participated in break out sessions for small business issues and served as a case study for successful micro lending via Sam Adams’ Brewing the American Dream Program.
2010- Sensory Judge, Northeast Regional Barista Competition, Cambridge MA
Trained to evaluate espresso by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Served on a panel of judges for the regional level of a well-respected global barista competition.