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Behind the scenes at Enderly Coffee is big, burlap sacks of beans, cups left over from cupping, a giant red roaster - bags and bags and bags and bags of beans. And most importantly, the people whom we love. He's most likely had his hands on your bag o' beans - meet Marquell Pettiford. He has had his hands in Enderly Coffee long enough he has earned the title "Packaging Aficionado" on his business card.

I met Marquell when first visiting the Enderly warehouse. We immediately had a connection because I taught at Harding University High School where he attended for awhile. We reminisced to see if we remembered similar people, and as an English teacher I dug a bit deeper to get him talking about his love for writing lyrics.

I asked him a few other questions too:

What are your life goals?

1. Finish my computer engineering degree2. Get a good paying job3. Play college football, so I can learn more because eventually, I want to coach football4. Get married and have a bunch of kids, so they won't be lonely. Eventually, buy a house, start a business. Whatever God calls me to do.

Where are you in school right now for computer engineering?

I'm currently enrolled at CPCC for my Associates Degree. Then, I will transfer over to a four year college, preferrably whomever I can play football for and is in state. 

What kind of father do you want to be? Explain and describe.

I want to be an active father. Active as in attending school events helping with school work. Helping coach my child (son) hopefully, in sports or with girls. Spend a lot of time outside in the world; just to talk and understand the world, so my child can grow to be an educated black man like myself.

What has God called you to do right now?

I feel like God has called me to teach the people I'm closest to. Teach whatever I can, because God is teaching me so many different things and I can use this to bless others. I often find myself in places I never thought I would be (like working in the coffee industry), and I figured it's because I can use what I'm learning to teach the people I'm closest to. 

Tell me about your writing/music...songs, inspiration, what you're doing with it. When you started? 

I just want to send a positive message to our youth through my music. Show them that there is  more to the world than what social media and the radio say. I want to stress the fact that being real with yourself can help you be real with others. I want to connect with the people on a personal level (Can you tell why Marquell is an asset at Enderly? He's about people too!). A lot of times we find ourselves portraying something that we're not or can't have, and the world makes us feel like we're lame or this and that if we don't be what they want us to be, and our younger kids are vulnerable to this. I want to show them that anyone can make it, never limit yourself. It gets deeper than just making music for me. I feel like I can impact people's lives, and people would be able to relate to me and to how I feel in my music. 

Please add anything else you'd like to add:

My circumstances now, being around so many lost young people is really my motivation. I want to be able to say that I overcame adversity; when the world was made to be against me, I beat the system. Knowing that so many people counted me out, even when I was at my lowest point I still stayed positive. My family pushed me hard to stay focused because it's so easy to lose everything I worked for.

How did you first get connected with Enderly?

I met Tony through a non-profit called QC Family Tree.  I have been connected with the Family Tree for about 8-9 years helping with the community and mission trips. They are in Enderly Park.  I met Tony at a coffee event I was working with The Family Tree and soon worked with Tony at a farmers market. We met and talked about how I can do my job to the best of my ability, at first. Over time we built a personal relationship which has spilled over into a mentorship. He teaches me how to make business decisions and manage my money.  

Marquell is an asset to Enderly. He's our people and so are you. Thanks for supporting us. Buy a bag of beans here. 

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