When you say that someone started at a company and worked their way up from the ground, Joe Walsh is the epitome of someone who has done exactly that. Joe literally started working from the ground! His first “job” at O’Neill Coffee Company was pulling the weeds around the store! When he wasn’t outside pulling weeds he was inside sweeping the floors. At age 11, Joe was doing the most important jobs that only he could do, according to his Dad and Uncle Jim founders of O’Neill Coffee Company. As Joe got older, he realized that these were the only jobs that no one else wanted to do!
That didn’t deter Joe because by the time he turned 17 he knew he wanted to be a bigger part of the company, but to do so, he had to learn the business. And learn it he did! One of his greatest memories was the long trips he would take with his Uncle Jim to Florida. Joe and Uncle Jim would spend hours in the car talking about the business, the ins and outs…Joe states, “It was like a business course road trip!” And, of course, there was learning from his Dad. Many people would say that fathers and sons working together in a business can be tough and can add undo stress to such a relationship; however, Joe feels he was blessed. “I always got to work with my Dad, not for him, and looking back, now that I am in charge I am appreciative of the way he let me run with things on my own and trust me to grow areas of the business.”
All that time working side-by-side with his Dad and traveling in the car with his Uncle Jim has paid off. Joe remembers a time when he would walk in the back of the store and there were only 4 options of coffee: Green, red, blue and decaffeinated. Today, when he walks to the back of the store he looks at over 100 different types of coffee that have the O’Neill Coffee Company emblem affixed to them! The growth of the company is a source of pride; however, not his greatest.
Joe is quick to point out that he is most proud of the folks who work at O’Neill. “I am so lucky and grateful to have talented “good” people who have really stuck around.” Joe’s staff treats each other with respect and they make running the business easy for him. “When I travel to other stores, I find that our team and our longevity together are really unique and special. I enjoy working beside my employees immensely!”
The O’Neill Coffee Company was started in 1951 and Joe continues to carry on the business that his Dad and Uncle Jim established. And as you probably have guessed, he enjoys a good cup of coffee to get him through his day!
Joe resides in Hermitage with his wife Christine and daughter Maureen (21) and son Jonathan (17). He loves playing golf in his spare time and is a huge Pittsburgh sports fan.