Matthew Dahms has done a little bit of everything: he has a background in the medical field, he’s met scores of his favorite musicians, and he loves trips to the zoo with his nieces. With an eye on personal growth, he’s happy to find a home at CMBC.
“Matthew has been a great addition to the team,” says Tasting Room Manager Chris Costello. “He has a great go-getter attitude and an extreme willingness to learn and assist wherever he can.”
Originally from Haddonfield, Matthew graduated from Haddonfield High School where he was a four-sport athlete: track and field, volleyball, football, and lacrosse. He attended Monmouth University for Biology and Anthropology.
“I actually went in pre-med,” he explains, “but I was a track athlete, so I was never there. I traveled the country a lot, so that kind of hurt my practicals. I made an executive decision to take it down, but I’ve stayed around the medical field my entire life.”
Matthew has worked as a licensed massage therapist, a certified personal trainer, he has a background in nutrition, and he’s done in-home care, and he’s worked for the ARC of Cape May County.
“I’ve stayed and dabbled in the medical profession because that’s my passion,” he tells us. “I’m a natural caregiver. Wherever I go, whatever I do, people have 100% of me. I feel I can really grow here.”
When he moved here five years ago, he lived in downtown Cape May.
“I loved hearing the crash of the waves, the horns of the ferry, the clops of the horses at night, everything being in walking distance,” he says, “it felt like home. It was very comforting. Now, I live closer to the ferry — it’s peaceful. I can walk six blocks and be at the Bay to watch a sunset. I’m a happy camper.”
When he’s not working, Matthew is a huge music fan. With a cousin in Dr. Dog, he’s had the chance to meet the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Third Eye Blind, and 3OH!3. But, one of his most memorable moments is having an hour-long conversation with Jack Johnson.
“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” he says.
Walking to class his senior year at Monmouth with his friend Connie, she mentioned that she was going to his concert that night. Matthew was extraordinarily jealous, and couldn’t believe it when one of Connie’s friends had to drop out at the last minute.
“My phone was blowing up when I got done with practice,” he says. “I look, and it’s Connie, offering me her extra ticket.”
They were in the VIP section, and Matthew headed to the bar to get the next round for everyone.
“I see this dude roll up on a longboard, and he pops a seat right next to me.”
Yeah. Jack Johnson.
“For an hour, Jack Johnson and I are talking surfing, where we’ve been, life. I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it was. Connie comes to find me, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my bad. Connie, Jack Johnson. Jack Johnson, Connie.’”
Jack hooked them up with backstage passes, and they hung out with him after the show.
“It was probably the most amazing night ever.”
In addition to music, he loves spending time with his three nieces: his older brother has Ariana Lynn (10) and Brinley Paige (6), and his younger brother has Ellia Theresa (2).
“I take them to the zoo,” he says. “Last summer, I went to Kansas City, Kansas, to see the two oldest. I go to the beach with them, I go swimming with them. Any time I get the chance to do anything with them, I’m on it. When they’re in Jersey, they’re the biggest part of my life.”
Matthew came to CMBC because he enjoys making people excited about things, and he’s found he can do that here.
“I’ve been in awe of this place because of what they’ve achieved,” he says. “All of my friends love it here. I love being behind the bar, listening to people’s stories, making people laugh, making people smile. Having been a bartender for over ten years, I love hearing the stories. I’m a people-person.”
He also sees that CMBC has multiple opportunities for growth within the organization.
“I’m the type of person who isn’t caged very well,” he explains. “I have to be able to go and do it. I love making things bigger. Yeah, it’s Ryan and Hank’s company, but I also did that. I helped. I was part of it.”
Matthew is loving his time here.
“From my first interview to every shift I walk through the door, I see a smile, I see people laughing, I see happy people engaging me,” he says. “As the new person, to be welcomed was awesome. To have such a family-oriented unit here — it doesn’t matter what your face is, what you look like, how you came in. You’re here, you pull your weight, you do it, and we’ll all be behind you no matter what.”
As for our beers, he has a few favorites, but he’s really been enjoying some of our one-offs.
“I really liked the Apple Pie, because you can really get the cinnamon in it,” he says. “For me, my senses are pretty heightened. If I can smell it, taste it, pick out different ingredients in it, that’s something unique to me. I really enjoy the one-offs because I can pinpoint different flavors.”
Be sure to say hello to Matthew the next time you see him in the Tasting Room!