I first met Kris Fulton at LAMILL Coffee at the Four Seasons in Harbor East. God, I loved that place. I think it was 2012 or so and I was very excited to attend my first cupping class. Kris was running it on a live video screen, virtually from California, where he was based at the time. As intimidated as I was to show my lack of real coffee knowledge, even from the West Coast Kris made the class fun and I learned a lot. This began my deep love of all things coffee.
Fast-forward. Lane Harlan tells me about her new project in Old Goucher, Fadensonnen and that there are other businesses attached to it, including Kris’ long dream of opening his own place. The tiny, subterranean Sophomore Coffee was a hit from day one.
Sophomore opened four years ago and is just as warm and welcoming – and delicious – today as it was in the very beginning. I personally love getting an iced coffee and sitting out in the Fadensonnen courtyard, especially once the air gets a little bit crisp.
One reason I think that Kris has been successful is the fact that he creates community and genuine connections wherever he goes. You just want to be in the same space as Kris. He embodies inclusiveness and kindness.
If you haven’t been to Sophomore or it’s been a while, stop by. You deserve a really, really good cuppa joe.
Side note: I always say the best thing about my many years in the food and drink world here in my hometown of Baltimore is the people I’ve met and the relationships I have fostered along the way, to this day. Kris and many others are why I do this.
Cake or Pie? And what kind?
Cake, Funfetti w/ cream cheese icing.
Your most prized possession?
My record collection.
What’s your favorite thing to order out at restaurants?
And, your favorite to cook at home?
Anything on the grill.
What’s your morning beverage and how do you take it?
I taste a lot of coffee most mornings, but my first beverage is typically water. Love it room temp or ice cold when it’s hot out.
What’s your personal motto?
“Don’t let the bastards get you down” or PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) for short
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas, solely because now it’s the one time a year that my mom will cook for us.
Best advice you were ever given? And from whom?
“Protect your inner circle”, my Pops.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
Keeping our business afloat throughout the first years of the pandemic.
The last text you sent?
Provoking a friend to seek new employment.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What do you love most about food?
The feeling of enjoyment I have while eating and feeling full afterwards.
What’s your favorite place in Baltimore?
My home with my wife and cats.
Baker’s Dozen is an occasional column highlighting some of the very talented, hardworking and kind folks in the Baltimore food + beverage community. I hope you will make a point to support their businesses. Here is a link to past profiles.