From Barista to Business Owner: Showrunner Michelle Phillips Interviews Carrie Rollwagen, Cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books

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On this week’s episode of The Localist, Carrie is joined by Michelle Phillips. Michelle is usually behind the scenes as the showrunner for The Localist, but the tables are turned and Michelle interviews Carrie! Carrie and Michelle dive into entrepreneurship and Carrie tells us where her entrepreneurial spirit came from. Carrie never thought she would start a business (even though she started a newspaper in third grade!) bus as a chronically curious person who likes learning about businesses it was bound to happen at some point. Carrie tells us how she learned how to manage people, how she was plunged into learning a whole new side of business after a promotion, and names some of her favorite resources that she’s found along the way. Carrie delves into how she met her former business partner and how Church Street Coffee and Books came to be, what it was like managing a coffee shop versus a book shop, and just how tricky managing pastry can be (books behave way more predictably than baking in large quantities!). Michelle and Carrie wrap up the episode with what Michelle learned while working at Church Street, and of course they talk about books since they can’t have a conversation without mentioning books at least a little bit! 

Mentioned in this episode: 

Carrie Rollwagen Instagram 

Michelle Phillips Instagram 

Sri Koduri Instagram 

Church Street Coffee and Books 

Jonathan Benton Bookseller


Weight Watchers

Brene Brown 

Rising Strong by Brene Brown 

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown 

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back

Tim Ferris podcast

Second Life Podcast 

Pop Fashion Podcast 

Driven podcast 

Carrigan’s Public House

Brat Brot

Cary Norton 

Rojo Birmingham

John Yam on Instagram


Harry Potter 

The Magicians 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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