Our Team


David Ryan Barnes - Roastmaster

     As a former Louisville native, I was fortunate to have had access to a number of great coffee shops. In 2012 I had, what we in the industry call an “Aha!” cup. A cup of coffee so delicious it makes you question every cup of coffee you’ve ever had. I was intrigued enough to embark on a mindful pursuit for my ideal cup of coffee. 

     My passion for roasting coffee started with an off-the-cuff conversation with my college physics professor. Knowing that I lived close to campus, and recognizing the logo on my coffee cup he estimated I had traveled 45 minutes to procure my morning coffee. His response; “You know you can roast your own coffee at home, right?” I was genuinely intrigued. After pointing me to a few online resources, and a short lesson on heat transfer I was ready to get started. After a few positive results, I remember the feeling as if I were onto something.

     After relocating to Lexington, Kentucky in 2015, I decided to take my passion for roasting coffee to the next level; launching Smokin’ Aces Coffee Company and training with the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Training with the SCAA gave me the knowledge that I needed to begin roasting at a commercial level. Today I focus solely on using my experience to roast each coffee so that it can be the best version of itself.


John Cable - Cafe Manager and Sales

I became interested in specialty coffee about five years ago. The non-profit that I was employed with decided to open a cafe and wood fired bakery. The main goals of the cafe were to serve as a social hub, be an inclusive environment and to provide work opportunities to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. 

Our cafe partnered with Counter Culture Coffee, and through their Philadelphia training site I learned about many of coffees origins, history, brew science, technique and all things espresso. I was immediately hooked. The company's attention to detail, eye for presentation, transparency of their product and how they highlight coffee farmers were some of the things I connected with.

Since this introduction I have straddled working in the Human Services field, and in specialty coffee in Providence, Rhode Island. More recently, after moving back to Lexington, Kentucky I decided to pursue my passions and team up with Smokin’ Aces Coffee Co. I am beyond excited to begin working with Smokin' Aces and to learn more about sourcing and roasting all of these interesting and nuanced coffees we offer. I’m also excited to be able to share our brewed products with the Lexington community and beyond.