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Cast Your Vote for "The Unseen Bean"

“The Internet is huge, winning is huge.” That’s the motto of The Webby Awards, a leading international award bestowed on the best of the Web. That’s why we’re really proud that the “The Unseen Bean,” a video created by our supremely talented friends at Dark Rye, Whole Foods Market’s online magazine, was nominated for a Webby Award in the Documentary, Individual Episode category.

Take a look. And if the story of Gerry Leary inspires you, cast your vote in the People’s Voice section of The Webby Awards. Voting ends April 25!

The Unseen Bean: Roasting Coffee In The Dark from Dark Rye on Vimeo.

Gerry Leary has been blind since birth, yet he mastered a craft that is heavily dependent on sight—coffee roasting. When Gerry first became interested in pursuing this project, after spending 30 years as an auto mechanic, he was unable to find a professional coffee roaster who could teach him the job without relying on visuals.

Gerry relies on roasting coffee by sound or smell, and after looking for work for over a year, he started his own company called “The Unseen Bean.” So it was fate when a Whole Foods Market team member met Gerry at an event for The Blind Café. The Dark Rye team knew immediately that they wanted to profile him for the online magazine.

“When I was first considering the story, I was primarily caught up with the physical logistics of how Gerry ran his business — he still roasts every batch by hand, nothing automated,” said Ira Chute, producer at Whole Foods Market. “But what I came away with was an unforgettable impression of the man himself, and the irrepressible good nature and human spirit that is so alive in Gerry. He's an inspiring guy, and I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to tell his story.”

Dark Rye profiles dreamers and makers like Gerry in communities across the globe.

Tell us about someone that inspires you. Share their story in the comments below.


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Jan Marcacci says …

Gerry is amazing @his coffee roasting...I would love to attend his "coffee tasting in the dark"

Peggy says …

Hope Gerry get the award, he has been an inspiration for many!