Karen Weckerly, Founder and CEO of COROCO Coffee Roaster Collective, had an unconventional start in coffee. Trained as a professional violinist from the age of two, she performed and taught professionally for a number of years. Happily married to Ryan for 20+ years and as a mother of two energetic (and busy!) elementary-aged children, she hung up her violin for a couple of years to focus on family time. 

With varied talents and interests, the question of what the “next chapter” would be for Karen’s career looked like an eclectic assortment of music, meteorology, travel, cooking, fashion, martial arts and an odd fascination with grammar. When the opportunity to learn about roasting coffee came along, it appeared to check at least one box nicely.

After some initial intimidation working with the industrial equipment passed, it turned out roasting coffee checked more boxes than simply cooking. Many people have heard of the “Mozart Effect” that music has on the brain, and how music and math are inseparably intertwined in the mind of a musician. Making calculations on the fly while roasting coffee is no different, and no less engaging. Adding energy at the right moment in time to achieve the desired effect, not much different than performing a musical phrase. The Interlude™ Coffee brand is a nod to Karen’s musical background, and the many brands produced at COROCO Coffee Roaster Collective allow her to express her creativity with both roasting and design.


Say hello to Alex! Alex is our Operations Manager here at COROCO and has been on the team since day one! With his previous experience as a barista and bartender combined with his psychology degree, he loves talking to new people and creating new and exciting drinks or roasts for our customers. Although not a Sycamore native he has fallen very hard for the Sycamore community which reminds him a lot of his hometown of Dixon. When Alex is not at COROCO (which is rare) he prefers to spend time learning the guitar or outside with friends and family camping, snowboarding, target shooting, and playing sports. Alex also has a passion for traveling the world and can’t wait for the end of the pandemic so he can go back to experiencing different cultures, trying new foods, and visiting old teammates overseas.


Meet our production roaster, Kylee! Born and raised in Cortland, Illinois since day one. She spent most of her days roaming around between Cortland, DeKalb, and Sycamore with her friends; being dumb teens trying to make something of themselves in the middle of corn country. Although she is new to the coffee industry she is excited to learn more about it; since she never realized how much of a science it truly is. When Kylee is not at COROCO she can be seen spending time outdoors, reading a multitude of different books, and hanging out with friends.