I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the son of a Swedish father and German mother I grew up with my sister spending much time at the family dairy farm in Green Isle, Minnesota. There, I played with my many cousins during long summer days.
I’m a Savannah girl. Growing up, all of our spare time was spent on Tybee Island sand off the coast of Georgia. The smell of the salty air and the sound of the waves crashing the shore still reminds me of those special days.
Step foot into Café Intermezzo at Avalon, and you’re likely to be greeted with a huge smile from General Manager Joy David. She’s brought an infectious energy and upbeat, can-do attitude since Avalon’s very first day, in December 2015.
But long before joining our team, she spent her youth in Bangkok, Thailand: her homeland. There, she was inspired by the bustling street life, and enjoyed the culture and spices found in the open-air markets. After moving to the United States and then graduating college, Joy gained quality, hands-on coffee shop experience in the Midwest. She was part of a team that opened and operated coffee shops in the Chicago region -- an experience in which she says she learned to love the “Windy City.”
Joy escaped the gusts and freezing winters for southern heat and humidity, when an opportunity arose to manage a top-volume store for a major national chain in Buckhead.
There she remained for several years, earning multiple awards along the way. And that is where Café Intermezzo entered the picture.
“I joined Café Intermezzo because I believe it is truly a unique coffeehouse with an emphasis on generous hospitality and an inviting European atmosphere. I am focused on making certain that our guests have an enjoyable visit each and every time.”
That mission, Joy certainly accomplishes. In her spare time, she gardens, does yoga, goes shopping, and spends time with her husband and two children.
Favorite quote: "Love what you do and do what you love!"
“The best part of my job is that I don’t know what kind of challenge will be waiting every morning until I arrive to work!”
The optimistic Sooi-Kit Cheng, or “Cheng” as we call him, is Café Intermezzo’s Controller. Though payroll, financial statements, and sales tax filings are a few of his primary duties, he’s always willing to pitch in with other tasks when needed. He’s even stepped in to handle with cheesecake deliveries!
Though originally from Malaysia, Cheng received his college education in Georgia, at both UGA and Georgia Southern. While a Bulldog, he gained unique perspective on the food industry as an employee with the UGA Food and Science lab.
“We were doing things in the lab to replicate the possible extreme circumstances that could happen in the food system. One example is that we inoculated Salmonella in the chickens and eggs and incubated the samples in the fairly warn incubator to see how the bacteria grew.”
While later living in Statesboro, Cheng worked in food service for the university, and then at Braswell’s Food Company, where he was the 'Food Technologist.' While in that post, he managed quality control, research and development, food safety, and government regulations.
He says that he originally became intrigued by the Café Intermezzo concept because it's "a romantic place to be."
When he isn't crunching the numbers at our corporate office, Cheng enjoys staying abreast of current affairs through reading the news.
Cartier is a task-driven, detail-oriented Administrative Assistant with 8+ years of experience. She brings her big smile, enthusiasm, and love of coffee into her role of assistant.
Originally from New York, she moved to Atlanta in pursuit of her dream. While in school at South University, studying to get her Business Degree, she discovered her love for helping others and enjoyed the customer service field. During this time she learned skills such as leadership, active listening, and the effect good customer service can have on the customer.
This opened her up to more possibilities and eventually lead her into the world of teaching. As an infant teacher, she learned compassion, patience, and the importance of communication. She often volunteered to help out in the office at the schools she taught in which exercised her love of organization.
While teaching in the Midtown area Cartier discovered Café Intermezzo and would frequently go there to complete her evaluations and lesson plans. She fell in love with the atmosphere and cake.
When Cartier is not working she enjoys her time at home with her two little girls, Amari and Averi; 2 bunnies, Lola and Harley, her dog Lemonade and her soon-to-be husband, Will. She loves crafting, singing, painting, writing, and all things pink.
My family moved to South Korea when I was only 5 and I spent my childhood there and came back to the United States when I was 17, which was the year of 2006.