A 2013 graduate of Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in Convergence Journalism, Peñuñuri started her career as a News Reporter for KXXV, an ABC-affiliated television station in Central Texas that serves cities including Waco, Temple and Killeen.
“I was out in the middle of nowhere Texas, and I really just needed a creative outlet that wasn’t the hard-hitting news stories,” Peñuñuri recalls. “So, I started visiting coffee shops and blogging about them; the more I wrote about them, the more questions I asked and the more I learned; I was just mesmerized by coffee.”
She left news for the corporate world, working in media production for AT&T at their headquarters in Dallas. She then re-located back home to Southern California to work in branding.
Through it all though – there was always coffee, coffee shops, travels, and stories.
She moved to Charlotte in 2016 when her boyfriend (now fiancé) matched with a neurosurgery residency program in the Queen City following medical school in Chicago. While Peñuñuri looked for a job in branding, she worked for a short period as a barista at 7th Street Market’s Not Just Coffee.
“I learned a great appreciation for the role of the barista in the coffee experience and what goes into making a coffee drink,” she shares.
But she wanted more.
“After years of enjoying coffee and writing about it, I came to realize that I was really interested in the bigger picture of coffee like the sourcing and the buying,” she says. “So, I blindly reached out to Nordic Approach.”