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The mothership, “Dripolator OG” as we lovingly call her, was opened by Amy Vermillion in Black Mountain in the summer of 1999, because she knew the community needed a third place that would foster connection and encourage us to gather. While coffee is our medium - that addictive elixir we strive to showcase with every effort - we are proudest of the ways in which this little stone building has become both an oasis and a destination over the last twenty-plus years. 

Amy Vermillion

Amy is a NC native and UNCA graduate who has been in the service industry since she was fifteen. She loves the challenges that cafe ownership brings, and is proud to have established thriving stores filled with warmth, conversation and skilled baristas.


Chris Bolick

Chris is a Black Mountain native who is an architect of change. He is a visionary, who by day coaxes water into more useful zones as the founder of Stream Initiatives, but who by night is our contractor and builder extraordinaire.  He is essential to our team because of his perfectionism, talent, and work ethic, and our expansion would not be possible without his effort and devotion.

Josh Valdes

Joshua Valdes has been drinking coffee since he was three years old. His love of coffee brought him to the Dripolator as a barista after graduating from Montreat College. It was during this formative time that he fell in love with craft coffee, and even more with the Dripolator brand. After moving away to work for a big box coffee company, he couldn’t be happier to be back, partnered with his friend and mentor, the OG founder of Dripolator, Amy Vermillion.

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