11 Questions with Ben Hoyer from Downtown Credo Coffeehouse in Orlando, FL

You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That’s what 11 Questions is for. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. Let’s get started!


The minute you meet Ben Hoyer is a minute to remember. He won't like me saying that because he's a humble guy, but it's true. You know those people you meet who just bring a smile to your face? Those people in your life you'd love to spend more time with because they make you feel so good about yourself and the world around you? That's Ben. He lives a life of purpose and meaning and by being around him you'll want to do the same. A great proponent of restoring what is broken, he strives to birth beauty and hope into the world by living in authentic community with others. As if that wasn't epic enough he also runs Downtown Credo Coffee, a donation only non-profit coffee house in Orlando (past winner of a Disney Helping Kids Shine grant award). Make sure you stop by Credo sometime and shake Ben's hand. I know he'd love to talk to you. You'll walk away refreshed, I promise.

Who do you look up to?

The clichéd answer is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The image of a flawed person working hard for something larger than himself energizes me. The idea that he accomplished what he did often moves me to hope. Besides that there are a few people in my life whose wisdom is deeper than mine. I look up to them and value their advice/counsel.

Do you have a favorite book?

I feel like I don't want to commit to one book. There are several that come to mind as having shaped some of my thinking on where I am in my life right now: Deep Economy, Man's Search for Meaning, Good to Great, and Friendship at the Margins. Ideas that stick with me from those books include: more does not always equal better, the route to a successful life runs straight through a deep set meaning for living, it is possible to do things incredibly well with focus and a great team, life is not full until it's lived with people different from yourself. Those are just a few of the ideas that have come from the aggregate of all those books.

Favorite place to eat in Orlando?

Right now, I'm loving Mills Market. They always have good beer on draft and their sandwiches have never let me down. It's a great place for our family: the kids eat the grilled cheese, we relax in the nice weather, and then walk around Lake Davis.

What gives you inspiration?

New ideas and achievable goals. I suppose I don't really know why. I just really love dreaming up strategy for action to accomplish a goal. I'm energized by the idea that we can do things, that dreams are often realized one step at a time. So working with folks on identifying those steps and then moving to action on them is super fun for me.


If you had the chance to live in a different decade, what decade would you choose?

I could think of reasons to live in lots of different times but I think the most compelling would be to live a couple decades in the future. It would be fun to see how things shake out.

What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career?

I'm not real sure. I will say that at a critical point several years ago I decided that the straightest way for me to a fulfilled life was in service to my city. Since that point I have asked, "how can I best serve Orlando?" That questions has lead to lots but has not changed.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

As well as I can. Truthfully, they're not that separate for me. It does not feel like two separate compartments. My family is a part of my life and so is my work. I try to live well. That includes work that allows for adventure, teaming with folk, problem solving, and service. It also includes giving and receiving love with my wife and kids, a robust friendship circle, and time alone.

Is there anything that you haven’t done yet that you feel compelled to achieve in the future?

There is always more. Dreaming is what I do for fun. I am not short on ideas of things to accomplish. The trick is not tackling too many at the same time.


If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?

Anything with a dinosaur. The idea of animals the size of buildings is inspiring.

What are your other interests?

Besides my family and work? If I could play baseball every weekend I would be a different person, definitely a better person. I love it. I started brewing beer with my brother several months ago. I love the satisfaction of having made something that tastes good.

What rejuvenates you?

Adventure. I just learned that a couple summers ago. My wife and I took a trip out to the Grand Canyon. We took an 11 mile hike down into a tributary canyon. We camped at the base of two huge waterfalls, Havasu Falls. We were outside the range of any phone in the wilderness. Then we were exploring, hopping down huge boulders and swimming under waterfalls. Three days felt like weeks. It was amazing. This winter we got a quick ski trip in. Alone on the side of a mountain gave me some of the same feeling. A little bit of adventure and I come back ready for life.

Have any additional questions for Ben? Make sure you leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure he answers them. To stay up to date on what Ben is doing you can follow Downtown Credo on Twitterand like them of Facebook.