Colby Barr, co-founder of Verve Coffee grew up with a love for adventure, music, and mapmaking - which isn’t the most obvious blend for a career in coffee roasting. What inspired him to reach out to his old friend Ryan O’Donovan and started a simple coffee shop? Colby also shares how he brewed a brand with class and integrity, how they expanded Verve Coffee nationally and internationally, and why making mistakes means you’re doing something right.

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Verve Coffee co-founders Ryan O'Donovan (left) and Colby Barr (right)

Verve Coffee co-founders Ryan O'Donovan (left) and Colby Barr (right)



  1. If the world shows you a sign, sometimes you've just got to follow it and take the leap.

  2. Aim to build the best company you can, even if no one cares.

  3. You’re going to be better at your passion than anything else, and you’re more likely to be successful because you’ll give it everything you’ve got.

  4. You owe it to yourself to work things through.

  5. Being overwhelmed is probably a good feeling to have. If the work is a no-brainer, then you're probably missing something.

  6. You could be making only $1.60 an hour with your dream job, but it’s still worth it.

  7. Take chances and overextend yourself.

  8. Go make mistakes, go mess up. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not reaching far enough.



Verve Coffee website

Follow Verve Coffee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Find their locations in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, New York, and Tokyo 

Read more about Colby and Ryan's story here

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