Sanford Bledsoe, You’re Going to Camp!

That’s right, folks, the winner is Sanford (Sandy) Bledsoe of Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a whopping 324 votes!

Happy birthday, Sandy! That's right: today is our Camp Pull-A-Shot winner's 27th birthday.

1,149 votes total were submitted for our Camp Pull-A-Shot video contest, in which 11 baristas from all over the United States submitted videos to be considered by you, the coffee public and fans. 1,149 of you cast votes for our competitors ”that’s a crazy huge number of votes!! The grand prize for this contest is an all expenses paid trip to the SCAA and Barista Guild of America’s Camp Pull-A-Shot, the first annual barista retreat. The SCAA and the Barista Guild, and Marcus Boni personally, have made this amazing prize possible. It includes: airfare, all lodging, all meals, and most importantly, all camp workshops. Barista Magazine has been stoked to host this contest, and man, it’s been incredibly exciting!!

Sandy wrote to tell me the other day that the competition has really brought together the barista community in Ann Arbor, that baristas from other shops than his were submitting votes for him and getting pumped about the competition ”that’s what it’s all about!

“It isn’t really so much about winning the contest, as having the opportunity to meet and learn from the baristas that I really look up to,” Sandy said, when I asked him what winning would mean to him. “There is just SO MUCH to learn and it’s really awesome to have other people in the industry to turn to.   I really can’t say enough about how supportive the coffee community is.   I’ve made so many friends through coffee, and the whole thing really gives me something to look forward to every day; something to work toward.   So winning the contest wouldn’t really mean as much as the opportunity that winning the contest would create, which is the opportunity to grow as a barista, a professional, and a human being.   I turn 27 tomorrow (today), so I’ve been thinking a lot about growing up, my future, and what my role in the coffee industry is and what it could be.   Right now, I’m just really excited about all the opportunities that coffee holds in the near and distant future.   Does that make sense?   Wait.   What was the question?”

Eleven awesome videos were submitted, and it was truly a pleasure to watch them all. If you haven’t already seen them, I urge you to check them out.

Here are the ranking of the top five videos:

1. Sanford Bledsoe, Video #1, 324 votes

2. Josh Lindstrom, Video #5, 276 votes

3. Cameron Peterson, Video #8, 257 votes

4. Benjamin Turiano, Video #10, 156 votes

5. Sam Brown, Video #2, 147 votes

Congratulations again to all the video entrants, and thanks for playing. And Sandy, I look forward to seeing you at Camp!

About Sarah 919 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.

10 Comments

  1. Thanks for all the comments, folks! Good discussion, and thanks, John Smith, for clarifying your thoughts. Having chatted with Sandy since the contest, I’m positive he’s going to make the most of his camp experience and bring lots of great ideas back to his barista community in Michigan. We wish the SCAA had means to bring all the contestants to camp, but we applaud them for making an incredible experience possible for our video winner. The enthusiasm exhibited by all the competitors was just more than we ever anticipated, and it’s been incredible, and inspiring, to see all the competitors now rally around Sandy since his win. Bravo to you all.

  2. LOVED Ben’s video (though probably Bethany should get a lot of credit too), and also really really liked Cameron’s! However, as the final vote showed, this contest wasn’t really about video production, it was about ENTHUSIASM production and community support, and Sandy definitely brought it on that front. So congratulations, Sandy! Have a great time at Camp Pull-A-Shot!

  3. Sorry for the John Smith comment…that was me….acting on disappointed emotions.

    I know you are going to have a great time in CA! It was a intense race and I acted/ and commented on intense emotions. I wanted to remove it the second I hit submit comment, but I am not sure how to do it……:) Didn’t realize I would spark all the other comments either.

    I wasn’t a contestant, but followed it closely. The person I voted for lost, but know that you are probably just as excited to go as every other person who entered would have been. Have a great time out in Sunny CA! Congratulations!!!

  4. Congrats homie! Too bad John Smith is probably going to cry himself to sleep tonite, and you’re going to be at El Capitan in 12 days!
    Very amusing video. Very worthy video. Im proud to call you a fellow industry professional.
    All the best from Milwaukee!

  5. Sanford III

    Job well done, sure was fun and intense to go out for votes. Enjoy the camp and trip.

  6. Thanks, Sanford.

    This contest was about giving a workaday barista the opportunity to go to an extremely expensive coffee event. It was successful. You won and you deserve to go.

    Don’t listen to any weinies that put down the quality of your video. How many baristas have access to a video camera, anyway? I was lucky enough to borrow one for a day. You used whatever it was you used and that’s great.

    Congratulations!

    -Cameron Carter Peterson

  7. Part of me thinks John Smith is right; a lot of people really put their hearts into their videos and they all deserve a lot of credit and a lot of applause. Cameron’s was a personal favorite of mine and I’m happy to see that he got so many votes.

    I’m really excited about going to camp and right now I just can’t say enough good things about the people at Barista Magazine, the BGA and the SCAA. Thanks to everyone that helped make this happen, and thanks to the other contestants who obviously put a lot of energy into making their videos and generating buzz around the contest.

    All the best,
    -sanford c bledsoe iii

  8. clearly sandy cares more about the coffee itself than fancy cinematography. he deserves to go.

  9. well done! thank you barista magazine for delivering this to us all, thank you SCAA for the scholarship. here’s to a great camp to come!

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