Coffee With Strangers

Matt Pochily and Kelli Lemon of Coffee With Strangers. Big thanks to Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography for the great pictures!

Matt Pochily and Kelli Lemon of Coffee With Strangers. Big thanks to Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography for the great pictures!

It’s fitting that Kelli Lemon and Matt Pochily met while changing the world by serving the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. Matt had experience with video production and Kelli had experience getting to the heart of the matter with interesting people. Coffee With Strangers was born and Richmond knows Richmond better because of this awesome collaboration. You can find their interesting and always entertaining work here.

H5RVA: How did Coffee With Strangers (CWS) begin?

CWS: Kelli and Matt met in January 2014 through their work with The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Church Hill. Both feeling in kind of a creative funk, they got together for coffee in October of that year to see if they could work together in some way. Matt was a fan of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Kelli was a fan of coffee and being nosy with strangers and both feeling like some content like this should exist in RVA, they decided that Matt would start shooting videos of Kelli having coffee with people.

H5RVA: What makes you love this?

CWS: So much! The whole process of selecting the guests, having the conversation, working through the edit of what's going to make the video but mostly bringing people together. It's so fun to meet and support new people doing cool things in Richmond. It's fun to expose our guests to new things, expose their followers to how they live Richmond and expose ourselves to all that Richmond has to offer.

H5RVA: How does meeting new people--people like you and people not like you--change who you are?

CWS: I think there's a little piece from each conversation that stays with both Kelli and Matt. It's probably something different for each of us but everyone comes with a different perspective than ours about Richmond, family, work, hobbies, etc. You take little nuggets from each conversation and they begin to shape and influence how you live and interact in the city. 

H5RVA: What have you learned about Richmond as a city through meeting its people?

CWS: So much! We've had guests say 'it's a great ecosystem of support', 'it's what you make it', that Richmond 'embraces new and different', that it's a comfortable lifestyle. All those things have kind of made up what we've learned about the city so maybe to sum it up it would be that Richmond really is a great city where you can be yourself. You can pursue your passions as hobbies or as a business and people will be there to support or help. Maybe also how entrepreneurial minded the city is, Richmond just has the right things going now that help you with getting that little idea off the ground and bringing people together around it.

H5RVA: What are you going to do with this High Five?

CWS: What won't we do with this High Five is maybe the better question. We'll probably show it off in the background of an episode or two, post photos of it on social media and when we finally quit our jobs and get office space to do the show full time, we'll put it on the wall and credit it with our success.

 H5RVA: Thank you, Kelli and Matt, for gathering amazing people doing amazing things and helping us all get to know them! And thanks to Jenny McQueen of Capture Photography for the great pictures!

Carry on!


Amy McCracken