• Home
  • /
  • Barista
  • /
  • Austin Ferber ~ Coffee and Chocolate Barista

Austin Ferber ~ Coffee and Chocolate Barista

Austin Ferber started his career as a barista at Starbucks nearly six years ago.  After he spent a few months on the Apalachin trail he was looking for a job in Knoxville. He knew the manager here at Coffee and Chocolate.  He knew how much he enjoyed the environment, the speed of things, the process of making drinks, and the camaraderie behind it. Over the years he met three of his closest friends through working in coffee shops. He enjoys meeting new people and now we get to meet him and listen to his story…

“I would say be kind to the tall person standing in front of you. I’m 6 foot 7 and many times in concerts and crowds I can hear the person talking about how they can’t see.”


What is your favorite restaurant in Knoxville and what do you love there?

I’d say my favorite restaurant is Soccer Taco, just cause it’s very reliable. We used to go there all of the time while I was living here. It was fast and cheap which is always a good thing when you’re in college. I’d always get the fast break nachos with chicken because they’re only around six bucks. They’re really filling and you could eat it for the rest of the night.

How long have you lived or worked in Knoxville?

I’ve lived and worked in Knoxville for about ten years now.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Knoxville?  Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Knoxville?

Probably the most interesting person I’ve met in Knoxville is my friend Matt.  I’ve known him about nine years.  I met him not too long after I moved to Knoxville. Actually, he was the best man in my wedding. He’s a very interesting character and a good friend. We always have interesting conversations. He’s always finding himself in weird unique situations that I myself, personally would never imagine being in because of my personality verses his. He’s always very entertaining to listen to him tell a story.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?  And why?

I’ve been thinking a lot of traveling out to California, Sierra, Nevada, Yosemite. My wife and I haven’t been able to go out there yet but we’re working towards it. I’d love to go out there. I’ve never seen the bigger mountains.

What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?

The first movie I’ve ever seen….I can tell you my favorite movie would probably be Life Aquatic by Wes Anderson. Bill Murray stars…it’s just like funny, quirky.

What advice would you give a crowd of people?

“I would say be kind to the tall person standing in front of you. I’m 6 foot 7 and many times in concerts and crowds I can hear the person talking about how they can’t see.”

What is something on your bucket list?

I’d really like to travel out of the country, especially in Iceland or Scotland,  places like that. Traveling to really green mountainous places has always been on my list of things. Iceland just seems so beautiful.

What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?

I know one would be Josh Ritter. He is one of my favorite musicians. I’ve seen him live a few times. The Beatles, I’d love to see the Beatles. I think it would be a tie between Journey and Queen. Journey, of course Steve Perry is the front man for Journey. Their voices, their presence is just…..

What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Knoxville?

I probably would be the most nostalgic about the first Starbucks I worked at in Knoxville, just because I was looking for a startup for a couple of years to transfer into Knoxville. It’s right by West Town mall. It was my first coming back and really having a connection with friends from there. My roommates derived from there. We played poker. Everyone would come over to the apartment. I have a very nostalgic feeling about that place. Actually, I trained my manager Cody at that Starbucks. So we go way back.

Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch?  Why?  Where in Knoxville would you have lunch?

I think my choice right now would be Scott West who owns Preservation Pub-Scruffy city hall in Market Square and a couple of other places. I would probably have lunch at Preservation Pub. They’ve got a really good vegetarian meatball sub. I’m not a vegetarian but it’s so good. It’s almost better than regular meatballs. It’s made with walnuts. I would love to talk with him and just hear more of his stories because he’s an integral part of building up this part of Knoxville. He’s got an interesting past from what I’ve heard. He seems like a great guy.

What is your favorite thing or something unique about Knoxville?

I would say Ijams Nature Center. It’s in South Knoxville. It’s really neat. They basically took an area that used to be where they mined limestone. They call it marble but it’s actually limestone. That used to be part of Knoxville’s industry. They basically converted it into this nature preservation area. There’s a lot of hiking trails. There’s a quarry where you can paddleboard and kayak. It’s just a really beautiful area. My wife and I take the dogs out there. They’ve added a lot of mountain bike trails. It’s kind of helped to develop south Knoxville.  Four years ago, I lived in South Knoxville.  There wasn’t a whole lot going on. But now there’s breweries, and restaurants and tons of people moving there. I think Ijams has had a big part in that.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

Hopefully here, still here.

(Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?

A lot of people don’t know  I lived in Minnesota other than family and friends. Another thing is that I went to the bible college for a couple of years. People I know don’t really see me as the Bible college type. But it’s something that I really benefited from, just the knowledge……. I don’t know…..I’m really bad at basketball. People will see me and think I’m good at it. I tried. I was on the bench a lot. I didn’t have the foot, hand, eye coordination. A lot of times the ball would just hit my foot. My teammates would just roll their eyes.

If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?

That would definitely be my friend Matt. Our Ying and Yangness would definitely make for a very good buddy comedy.

If you had a fulltime staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?

Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?

Driver. I do not like driving.

What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?

Dogs, wife, and cooking. I do a lot of cooking. The first dog we adopted was actually outside the coffee shop here. I happened to walk out and here’s this little pitbull puppy. And I was just like aww, that’s a cute dog. And they said he was up for adoption. Then one day my wife and I had the day off together. We were down in the old city. She’s looking at pictures of dogs at Williams Animal shelter and she’s like we should go look at dogs. So by the end of that night we had our second dog.

Who would you like to see nominated for this project, The Faces of Knoxville?

I would say my friend Ryan who is a regular here.He does a lot of photography and videography. He lives downtown. He’s kind of an interesting guy.

Austin ~ Thank you for sharing your story with us! Blessings ~ Bridget

Leave a Reply