"We named our shop after sneakers."
Ian Williams didn't grow up an avid coffee lover or a longtime barista. No, his interest in coffee comes from an understanding of how much influence a coffee shop has on a community and its culture.
Originally from Newport News, Virginia, Ian grew up ten minutes down the road from the birthplace of Allen Iverson - his idol. Every Christmas, Ian received a new pair of A.I.s. These sneakers would lay the foundation of Ian's passion and carve his path towards the sneakerhead lifestyle. After moving to the Mecca of Shoes - Portland, OR - Ian took a position at the Nike Employee Store. From there, he took "eighteen steps backwards" and took a janitor job at the Nike Campus location. He knew he needed to be seen, and people would get to know him "taking out their trash." Ian had surrounded himself with the best in the industry, and after three years he finally landed a job in the Nike Design Department as a Footwear Engineer. The long journey had finally paid itself off...but Ian wasn't finished.
Commitment to passion carries Ian Williams forward. He says, "I'm passionate about people and about product and not so much about the brand. I just want to do my own thing... The one thing that transferred all the way through is passion and having good people around you. Having those people who believe in you and what you are trying to achieve, you'll be all good." Enter Deadstock Coffee, Ian's cafe and opportunity for like-minded folks who, like himself, are passionate about a craft. Deadstock represents all of these values and more. From aspiring shoe designers to enthusiasts in any industry, all are welcomed to come and discuss... well... really, anything.
Ian chooses to infuse sneaker culture into coffee culture through Deadstock. The sneaker vibes are everywhere, from the walls of the shop to the drinks themselves. Simply put, the cafe is reflective of Ian's experience and how he sees the world. "So many things are spur of the moment. We like to put passion into the current thing we are doing. We just do it because it's cool right then and that's it. Then we are like, 'alright, what's next?'" This drive to do what feels fresh in the moment and never back down sets Ian apart not only within the Portland coffee scene but in the industry as a whole.
Be on the lookout for more from Ian and Deadstock Coffee. Ultimately, it’s a space for anyone who is passionate about craftsmanship. Whether that passion is sneakers, coffee, music, photography, it doesn’t matter. Deadstock is simply a space that appreciates passion, welcomes expression, and fosters creativity. Ian’s a pretty humble guy, so The Pour is happy to shout him out and what he’s doing. It’s a real step forward in this industry. Thanks for having us, Ian, and providing a space for all walks of life.