by Todd Jones
Before meeting Loyal Coffee's Tyler Hill, I had no idea what we were going to talk about — well, besides coffee. The only thing I knew about him at the time was his part ownership of Loyal, alongside Eric Nicol, Seth Fuller, Bevin Cammell, Abigail Baum, and Christopher Mueller, and that I wanted to create a video based around a local creator like him.
Once we met, it was clear that I was talking to a character I can only describe as the type that inspires everyone around them. The type of person who speaks with so much confidence and charisma that they leave you feeling like you were just inducted into a secret society of leaders, ground shakers and game changers. After the meeting, I knew that there wasn’t one single video sequence I could plan for that would encompass Tyler, someone so driven and whose words carry so much momentum that you’ll quickly be flattened by them if you aren’t ready.
I decided against a set of premeditated questions for the shoot, I didn't really even know where to begin. But what followed was a candid conversation about his childhood in Salida, Colorado, baseball career and why he chose to give it up, his tattoos and “punk” style, and the role of Christianity in his life.
Hill’s journey has always been about the people surrounding him and the communities he admires. From a small-town upbringing — where he witnessed the truest definition of community — to the punk rock and alternative music scene and the people that welcomed him, to Christianity and his love for Jesus, Hill learned early on what his true passion is — welcoming all walks of life into his beloved community.
At one point I asked him, “What does this all have to do with coffee?” Hill went on to explain how coffee requires a thriving community in order for it to be made, distributed, and enjoyed. He believes good coffee is a perfect catalyst to bring good people together, and that’s all he really wants to do. Though he's steadily adding to his credentials as a premier barista — competing for the second straight year at the US Barista Championship later this year — Loyal is his day-to-day playground, and all people are welcome to stop in.
“Coffee is an anchor [around] which people gather,” he says. “Coffee people care about other people a lot.”