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Friday, August 23, 2019

Coffee and conversation … shared with everybody

Rod Martinez parlays his radio experience into the Coffee Matter Podcast from the EcoCafe in St. Jacobs

A local coffee-themed podcast is offering the chance to connect with your community and get to know your neighbours on a more in-depth level.

The Coffee Matter Podcast, broadcasted live from the EcoCafe in St. Jacobs, is a weekly offering that features interviews and music. Host Rod Martinez talks to regulars of the EcoCafe about whatever topics interest them.

“People in general live such fast lives,” said Martinez. “I think everybody has an interesting story to tell, whether it be if they own a business, or if they had something interesting happen to them in their lives.

“All kinds of people come into the podcast. It’s been a soccer coach, musicians, people who own businesses – it’s a wide range of people, and they all have a story to tell. And I think it’s cool that we can share it in that format.”

The podcast is relatively new: it has been active since January 2019, with 16 episodes thus far involving variety of guests from all walks of life.

This is not a new endeavour for Martinez, who previously hosted a weekly segment on CKWR called The Pit Radio Show dedicated to promoting unsigned Canadian metal bands. It started with bands from the Kitchener-Waterloo area, grew to encompass all of Canada, including Yukon, Montreal, and Halifax.

“My whole idea was to help local musicians,” said Martinez. “I felt, and I still feel that there aren’t enough voices there for local musicians.”

Eventually, Martinez found he was getting calls from all across the globe. He hosted it out of pure enjoyment and was not paid for his efforts. After six years of hosting, he decided to retire last spring … until, that is, EcoCafe owner Edward Denyer suggested that he start back up again with podcasts, with a different angle this time around.

“[Martinez] is very easy to talk to,” said Denyer.  “I’ve listened to a bunch of other people, now I know a lot more about our customers I know a lot more about our community because it’s people that we do business with, but then I find out wow, they like this or they like that, or they’re involved in that, and I would have never known otherwise. That’s what has grown organically and naturally here.”

The guest selection is generally, but not always, done by Denyer asking a regular if they would like to be featured on the show. After that, they meet Martinez at the cafe and chat over a cup of coffee, with the length of the show generally 45 minutes to an hour. Martinez added that it’s important that these conversations be natural – he never researches his guests beforehand.

“I don’t work with set questions, I never have,” said Martinez. “The whole idea of it is that let’s say you and I meet to go grab a coffee. You’re not going to go there with a script, and I’m not going to have scripted answers either.

“If you get people talking about what interests them, then the conversation is a lot easier because it’s something that they’re passionate about. And most people when they’re passionate about something, they’ve got lots to say about it.”

For more information, to listen in or to volunteer, visit www.soundcloud.com/coffeematter.

Veronica Reiner
Veronica Reinerhttp://www.observerxtra.com
Veronica Reiner is a Reporter Photographer for The Observer.

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