OK, so he might look a little grumpy and unapproachable in this photo, but Matt Daugherty, Camerons’ head roaster, is as open and as laid-back as they come. He’s quick to share his deep knowledge of, and love for coffee, as well as his passion for photography, music, and all things outdoors.
Growing up in a small house in Cottage Grove, surrounded by 10-acres of woodland, Matt and his siblings—a twin brother, an older sister and an older brother—spent their childhood playing and exploring outside. Matt reflects, “After my parents divorced, my dad would take us on camping trips in a pop-up camper. It definitely helped foster my love for the outdoors—particularly the North Shore.”
Through his teenage years and early twenties, Matt dedicated himself to music, leading a band that frequently booked gigs at popular clubs in the Twin Cities, like The Cabooze and The Turf Club. He studied jazz at MacPhail Center for Music, learned to build guitars at Minnesota State College Southeast, and, like all free spirits in the 80s, tracked the Grateful Dead across the United States. Today, if you’re lucky, you might catch him out on the production floor, belting Hall & Oates classics with our production manager, Conor Lefebvre.
Matt’s been singing and sipping coffee with Conor since the beginning of his journey in the industry, when he went from a manager and barista at Caribou Coffee, to an entry level roaster at a small, Minneapolis-based company called Ambrosia. “After learning to roast, I started working at Roaster’s Direct, and got the opportunity to try some really fantastic coffees. It wasn’t until I sat down to cup a table of single origins that I started to taste the nuances between different beans.”
Matt’s time at Roaster’s Direct was truly invaluable to his growth as a roaster, and ultimately led him to join the Cameron’s family. With a deep understanding of how to balance heat, roasting environment, bean origin and composition, Matt leads a team of seven roasters that produces Camerons’ signature smooth, well-balanced blends. “I take great pride in bringing out the full potential of our beans, and in sharing my knowledge with others.”
When he’s not sitting behind a roaster or singing Hall & Oates, Matt loves spending time with his wife, Laura, a ballet instructor, and his three-year-old daughter, Ada. His ideal weekend starts with a big mug of Gold Cup House Blend, brewed in a French Press, followed by a family stroll around Fort Snelling State Park.
All photos courtesy of Matt. In addition to being a talented musician and roaster, he also takes stunning photos. Check out his work on Instagram—@mattdaugherty_photography.