We sit down with Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle founder to talk about the intersection of design and coffee.
BY SPENCER AUBREY
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo courtesy of Kaya
Papa Baïdy Gueye (he/him) is the founder and creative architect behind the newly launched Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle. in Los Angeles and The Baidy Experience. Baïdy has a background in culinary arts and studied at the Cordon Bleu, which has contributed to his path into the world of coffee. And while he does not have a formal training in fashion and design, he has a natural affinity for it, and uses fashion and styling as a creative outlet. Baïdy’s background is in fashion and design, and so these concepts have naturally been an intrinsic part of his coffee business, too.
Spencer Aubrey: How would you describe the “why” behind Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle?
Papa Baïdy Gueye: The “why” behind Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle is to continue to build my legacy on the foundation of my mother’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive, with my father’s hard work and dedication to his family. I do it so that my children can inherit a can-do model of business that serves others, answers their calling, and fosters the difference they want to see in this world.
Coffee and lifestyle—how do both of these concepts merge to form the essence of Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle?
In essence they coexist, even if we’re not going about it consciously. We drink coffee around the habits and routines we formulate, which make up our experience. I invite you to do it more intentionally, to build an experience around your coffee-making rituals that heightens your senses and centers you in that moment.
I want to encourage people to tailor their time … to make it more meaningful, and I hope to provide some offerings from my brand to share in facilitating that reality—what I call “The Baidy Experience.”
How do fashion, design, and coffee meet in your business, and how does that shape the way you roast and prepare coffee?
As a creative, fashion and design have always been a part of informing my day-to-day decisions and formulating that lifestyle aspect of my personality—a vibe check, if you will. They naturally found their way into what I do, and I implement and share those elements that allow me to calibrate my sensibilities. Coffee roasting is a lot more rudimentary in practice, and hands-on. It requires a different type of focus, as an art and as a science. The tone I set in showing up for it is important to me.
As with anything, there is a transfer of energy and the maker’s signature on it, especially with food. I try to show up for that process with my best foot forward and impart some of that essence. Does that make the beans taste better? I don’t know. But I know it makes me feel good about what I’m doing.
What are the next steps for Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle. as you continue to grow?
I have so much planned for Baidy Coffee and Lifestyle. and so many ideas, especially curating the lifestyle portion of the brand in conjunction with the coffee program—how I want it to feel paired with how I want it to taste. You have to “crawl” before you can “run,” so right now I’m focused on what I have—currently roasting on a 1-lb. Huky 500 sample roaster—and how I can make that yield.
I desire to continue to grow, learn, and contribute by finding ways to be more creative and participate in this arena in a way I’m needed. I feel I can bring something useful and original.
What is one unique way the pandemic has impacted your business and lifestyle?
My beautiful wife (sighs). We were separated sometime last February when the pandemic hit, and she was unable to return stateside. I was unable to see her for eight months. We are newlyweds, into our first year of marriage, and it’s tough, but I just came back from visiting her in Sweden for three months, but it is tough being a startup and not having her around. She supports me and the business virtually, in any way she can where distance isn’t a factor, and I’m grateful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Spencer Aubrey (he/him) is a Black coffee professional currently working for Sayso Coffee in Winston-Salem, N.C. Spencer is a published poet, musician, tutor, and aspiring entrepreneur who enjoys the complexities and nuances within the coffee community. Spencer is originally from Scottsdale, Ariz., but is enjoying his time in the South as he looks for opportunities to connect with folks during the pandemic.