Dishes to Riches

04/01/2022 12:00 AM By Joshua
The Chews Letter
Josh Dicapua
Josh Dicapua
Story by Lisa Anderson • Photos by Joshua Jacobs

Dishes to Riches

22-Year-Old is loving the hard work & the Coffee Culture

If you have been to Symmetry Coffee Company on North Magnolia Avenue, there is a good chance you have been served by 22-year-old manager Josh Dicapua. Originally from Miami, he moved to the Ocala area with his family in 2014.

He was 16 when Ted Linn opened the coffee shop, then known as Symmetry Coffee and Crêpes. Josh started as a part-time dishwasher, and he admits to not having a whole lot of direction in his life at the time. “I didn’t even like coffee when I started,” he chuckles.

After graduation, Josh stepped away to pursue a full-time job, but in 2020 a managerial position became available at Symmetry. It was then that Ted sold the business to Michael Mills. “When I came back, it was on me as a manager to learn [about coffee], but it didn’t excite me. Then, when Mike took over, he made it clear that the quality was the most important thing of what we do. As much as it is an experience for people, as much as it is fun, it’s the quality that brings people to us. From that point on, I started studying and absorbing information,” states Josh, as he sips from his iced coffee.

Growing in the Culture

“Mike allows me to have my say and respects my input. I have the knowledge of coffee [now], and I’m getting a business degree. He’s allowed me to be excited and enjoy it. [Coffee] is a really cool culture. It brings people together. There’s a reason it’s been one of the biggest imports and exports for many countries for thousands of years.

“I thrive off being able to speak to and understand people. As much as Ocala is a small town, we’re growing by the truckload, it feels like, and with the horse community, we get a lot of Australian and British people.”

Unlike his days as a dishwasher, Josh now looks forward to coffee deliveries and speaking with people all over the world about types of coffee. And like a sommelier knows wine, he knows what notes of flavor to expect from different cups. Yet, as much as he enjoys a good cup of coffee, he also respects what really brings people to the table: the conversation.

“Life has been humbling. [I’m] becoming an adult. I’m finishing college and creating connections with people in Ocala that I never thought I would. Ocala business in general has opened up my brain to so much more than thinking that CEO of Google® is the only position in business. I’m learning there’s this whole other world where people are making a lot of money, really enjoying themselves, and being excited. I didn’t realize there was that type of excitement in the mundane stuff.

“Having people like Mike in my life and having the types of mentors I’ve put in my life have made me understand quickly that it’s not just money that is motivating my decisions. I’ve been offered more money [from other companies], but I haven’t been offered more opportunity and enjoyment. I’m passionate about coffee, [and] we are expanding quickly. There’s a lot of opportunity, and [it’s] more than just managing a coffee shop.”

“I think being young definitely lends itself to different challenges, but I think it also excites people,” Josh thoughtfully states. “As long as you feel called to something, it’s going to work out. I’ve been blessed with everything I’ve earned, but it’s also been luck, chance, and hard work. You just have to put in the effort. You reap what you sow.
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