Todd Purse is Head Creative at Brandywine Coffee Roasters, as well as this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE! He was nominated by Brew HaHa! Coffeehouse. Read his story below:
“I’ve lived in Delaware my whole life! I grew up in Newark, went to high school at Salesianum in Wilmington and then went to Delaware College of Art Design to get my Associates degree in Illustration. I currently live in north Wilmington with my family and work in our garage that we converted to a little art studio for me to use.
I love Wilmington! I was lucky enough to spend a lot of my 20’s traveling in bands and it drove home how rad our little city is and really made me appreciate what we have here. Wilmington is the perfect mix of a familiar and inspiring small city surrounded and intersected by some of the most beautiful nature scenery around. Mainly it’s the people though, like so many amazing artists and creative folks I’ve grown up working with and learning from.
I definitely would not be here without the local art and music community that brought me up and taught me how to make stuff for a living. This is the same community that I love being a part of today and helps sustain all my creative endeavors.
The artist and creatives of Wilmington give me all the hope needed moving forward. I’ve met so many kind, hard working, and talented people in this city that allow me to say confidently that I think we’re in for good things!
I try to stay as active in the community as possible, but with two young kids (a 4 year old and 7 month old) it’s been a lot harder to keep up with local events etc. Most recently I showed some work with local artists at Theater N via the Delaware Art Societies Summer Showcase. They are doing some awesome stuff!
One of the best stories that come to mind is meeting my partner and wife Ally and starting our family. It’s not super exciting, but it all happened in Wilmington. We met a local house show, moved in together in an apt on Shallcross, and got married in the courthouse Downtown. It means the world to us to still live 5 minutes from the city and be able to have our kids grow up in a place we love and where we fell in love.
Helping to start the Brandywine Coffee Roasters brand has to take that spot of my proudest moment. I worked with Alisa (the owner of Brew Haha!) and Ally 6 years ago to get this started, and seeing where it is today just makes me so happy. Getting national recognition from the coffee and art world has been beyond a dream come true and still doesn’t feel real.
My favorite memory, on the other hand, is a really hard one to nail down, but I think it would be a Halloween Cover show from many years ago at a now defunct (and never super legit haha) venue called The Spot. I got to perform as Iggy Pop for a set and play drums as Jerry Nolan (from the New York Dolls) all in one night… Plus Halloween is the best!
Overall my biggest advice is look around locally, sometimes it’s harder than you would think to find your community in a small town. But like minded awesome folks are out there, just try to be sincere and connect with nice people doing awesome stuff!”