Plano Barista Splits Spare Time Between Music and Gaming
Anthony Saldi began playing guitar in seventh grade. From there, he self-taught bass, drums, and keyboard. After a recent computer upgrade, he started working on writing and recording his own music, which brought him to where he is today, splitting his time and work between coffee, music, and video games.
“During the pandemic I completed an associates in audio engineering and science at Cedar Valley College,” Saldi said. “While I’m not currently in a band, I’m in the process of rebranding myself and writing [and playing] nu jazz and more nu experimental stuff. I’m at a point where I overthink a lot of the music I’m working on, which makes it harder to enjoy. Luckily, with jazz, it’s hard not to like it, and because I don’t understand it completely, it makes it more fun to study and play. Plus, who doesn’t like jazz?”
When Saldi isn’t writing and recording music, he’s recording and editing podcasts, and when he’s not doing that, he’s playing for Convoy Gaming as part of a competitive Call of Duty team.
“I used to get bullied for sucking at video games; now, here I am, getting paid to play,” Saldi said. “It’s been a fun experience, though I’m still pretty new to the whole world of paid gaming. I feel pretty lucky to be in this team, though. I’ve been able to meet two of my favorite players at events in real life. And then, if I’m not practicing Call of Duty or playing guitar, I’m at BRCC.”
Saldi’s first true interaction with Black Rifle Coffee Company was at a gun store. “I don’t own a gun myself, but I happened to be at a gun store in East Texas with a friend,” Saldi said. “I had seen a lot of things about Black Rifle Coffee and had never tried it, so while I was at the gun store, I bought it, tried it, and I was hooked.”
“I started drinking Black Rifle Coffee every day,” Saldi said. “There’s a clear difference between their coffee and any I had been drinking before.”
Fast forward to a trip at the Grapevine Mills Mall with his girlfriend. Saldi was in need of a job, and coincidentally, they ran into the Plano assistant manager, Kyle Parker, who gave Saldi the general manager’s business card.
“I had just quit my job at Amazon and had had a bad experience with my leadership team,” Saldi said. “I really thought it was me, that I was a bad employee.”
He applied to work for BRCC in November 2021, got an interview the next day, and quickly joined the team in December.
“I worked a nine-hour shift on my birthday during my first week of training at the Richland Hills location,” Saldi said. “That was my home base until the Plano store opened on New Year’s Day.”
“Everyone has a unique personality. They always seem to be having fun while they work, which is amazing,” Saldi said. “BRCC is so different from other places I’ve worked at, and I like everything about it: the pay, the coffee, the people, it’s all really great. I didn’t ever think I would find a customer-service job that I would genuinely enjoy, but this experience has proven me wrong.”
“Now that I’m working at BRCC, I’ve realized that I’m actually not a bad employee,” Saldi said. “It’s clear that it was the environment, because I’m so passionate about the stuff we sell and everything about BRCC that it’s just so easy to show up at 6 a.m. for a shift.”
Photo courtesy of Anthony Saldi.
“As much as I want to be a rock star at BRCC, I do also want to be the next ‘Guitar Hero,’ if you will,” Saldi said.
The great thing about his current work situation is that he does have the time to record podcasts, game, and write music, all while still being an active part of the Plano outpost. Saldi has albums out on Spotify but is planning on working on new music this year.
“This is such a great job, and I couldn’t be happier. You know there’s a big difference between just going to work and loving your job enough to want to wear the brand’s gear outside of work hours,” Saldi said. “Now that I work at BRCC, I literally have all the shirts. I do hope to move up in the future, as they start to open more locations. I can see myself growing in my work environment, and I can’t think of anything better than that.”