Grinding Out a Living

An entrepreneur blends coffee and golf to create the Good Walk Coffee Company

WHO: Chris Mellow, Founder and CEO of Good Walk Coffee Company
CLUB: Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club; Coto de Caza, California

“I spent over 20 years in brand and digital marketing on the agency side. My experiences building and launching brands for clients was instrumental in creating my desire to launch a brand of my own.

“Other than launching Good Walk Coffee and nurturing its growth, I’m especially proud of working with brands like JCPenney and Comcast on social media campaigns for the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup tournaments and the 2016 Winter Olympics. That time period was really when social media content from brands was coming of age, and we saw how creating engaging content around these global events could have an outsized impact with a huge audience.

“I began my career during the first dot-com boom of the mid- to late-’90s. I wanted to work at an agency that was growing in this field, and I was lucky to get my first job at the best brand-marketing agency in the world, Landor Associates, in New York City, helping build their interactive department. While this gave me the opportunity to work in the new digital space, it also gave me experience in classic brand building.

“We were moving into the neighborhood and the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club is quite literally at the center of the Coto de Caza community. I am a passionate tennis player and golfer, and it had everything we were looking for as a family, including the pool and fitness center. Once we started meeting other Members, it was clear that it’s a very special Club and makes the experience of living in our neighborhood much richer.

“With work being so busy, time is a luxury. Right now, I just try to get out to play tennis a few times a week. My wife uses the fitness center and attends classes there regularly, and our young kids are loving the experiences they’re having at golf camps, girls golf or just hitting on one of the tennis courts with Dad.

“Being at the helm of an early-stage startup, it can feel like there isn’t much life outside of work. Our family loves spending time at the Club or driving down to the water and spending time sailing together. It doesn’t really matter what activity we’re engaged in as long as we’re having fun together.”

A few of Mellow’s favorite things:

Favorite vacation spot: Costa Rica

Favorite city: San Francisco

Most memorable meal: “A dinner with good friends at Per Se in New York was pretty memorable.”

Favorite gadget: “My iPhone”

Favorite book: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

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