Owner, Coffee Roaster
Lance has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 17. Paying his way through school at American University in Washington, DC he moved to the Triangle area in 2002 with Maggiano’s.
He worked at the Angus Barn for nearly 14 years in multiple positions and was a member of the Wine Cellar staff there, receiving his Court of Master Sommeliers certification (2nd level) in 2011.
He started Bethesda Roasting Company, a wholesale coffee roasting company (www.bethesdacoffee.com) in 2013. Weekends at a local farmer’s market built the company while relying heavily on the training he received in the sommelier program to create coffee roast profiles. He started Som’s Café in 2017 but had to close the physical location due to COVID-19. He re-launched Som’s Café as an online cafe in 2020.
Outside of work Lance also helps with his sons’ cub scout pack, loves gardening, and helps with Financial Peace University, a personal finance program.
Owner, Tea Director
Ashley’s love of tea began through a mentoring relationship twenty years ago. As a campus pastor at UNC-Chapel Hill, NYU, and the University of Zambia for nine years, she shared many cups of tea with students.
Her love of tea grew as she traveled and worked with international students and experienced tea traditions from other cultures. She worked in non-profits and hospitality as well before coming home to nurture three boys in their little years and to help Lance start Bethesda Roasting Company. In 2017 Ashley’s life dream for a tea shop came true through Som’s Café. She was sad to loose the brick and mortar shop due to COVID-19, but excited to expand past the four walls by re-inventing themselves through an internet cafe.
Her background in non-profit fuels her passion for social entrepreneurship and love for customers.
Lisa Grimsley is a barista and lifelong coffee lover. She has worked in the coffee industry since 2002 for several companies, including several Starbucks Licensed Stores, Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Som’s Café. Her other passions in life besides coffee are a love of history, Star Wars, and geek culture. Lisa lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Will, her daughter Abigail and their collection of 500 Funko Pops.
Our Mission, Vision, & Values
To bring a Sommelier’s standard of service and beverage expertise to our coffee and tea and to equip customers to experience cafe quality at home.
To use our resources to be an instrument for transformation locally and globally in the countries of origin of our coffee and tea.
- Beverage Expertise: Our coffee roasts are created by a Sommelier trained in beverage tasting to present the unique flavor profile of each coffee. Likewise our teas are chosen and custom blended for a delicious tea experience.
- Education: We will equip customers to properly store, maintain, and prepare coffee and tea to fully experience the flavor. We’ll equip them to bring cafe expertise home.
- Sommelier Service: We strive to give each customer our best. We will serve customers with our whole heart and treat them with warmth, care, and kindness.
- Leadership and economic development: We have a passion to bring leadership development, entrepreneurship training, and economic development through our sales force and in the countries of origin of our coffee and tea.
- Generosity-Giving is a central part of who we are and our motivation to succeed.