One of our newest drivers, Mike Marchiano, is no stranger to the industry.
“Mike was a strong personal referral from our Head Driver, Chris Martin,” says Distribution Manager Justin Vitti. “He brings industry experience from his earlier days at another local-ish brewery, and he has great enthusiasm towards craft beer and the industry.”
Originally from Egg Harbor Township, Mike attended Holy Spirit High School before heading to Rowan University to get a degree in Accounting. After college, he worked a job in the Accounting department at the Hard Rock casino for about a week.
“I don’t think that I’m meant to be sitting behind a desk,” he says.
Luckily, that’s not something he’ll be doing as he delivers our beer throughout the state.
He worked at another local brewery as a brewer for about a year-and-a-half, having worked his way up from keg washer. While the production team wanted to interview him as well, Mike thought that the driver job sounded better for him.
“I’m good friends with Chris; he told me about the job,” Mike says. “He called me out of the blue one day and I asked if he needed a CDL to do his job and he said no. I thought it sounded like a good gig. It was good timing.”
Side note: Somehow, Chris knows everyone in this business. Literally EVERYONE. But we digress.
Between his brewing gig and the job here, Mike worked at Wawa for a year.
“I thought I wanted to be a General Manager,” he says. “They have a program, but I never heard anything from any of the area managers. After a year of that, I thought that I had to get back into beer. Somehow. It’s what I love.”
Wawa’s a great company with a lot of room for advancement; however, it takes a lot of time to get to that point.
“It’s weird,” he says. “They pay well, and if you decide you want to move up in management, the stress-to-income ratio seems really off until you get to General Manager. If you can grind your way there, it’s worth it.”
But, Mike hated the overnight shifts and intermittent schedule — the grind wasn’t worth it to him. So, back to beer.
Mike’s been meaning to become a homebrewer, but he hasn’t quite gotten around to it.
“I have all of the equipment, but I’ve never actually used it,” he laughs. “Even before I worked here, every time you guys had one of those employee homebrew competitions, Chris and I decided that we were going to brew one together and Chris would submit it. Every time, we had plans, but we’d never go through with it. It’ll happen eventually.”
Mike “lives and breathes” the Philadelphia 76ers. He respects the team quite a bit.
“They did a really weird rebuild where they purposely lost for five years,” he explains. “They got a bunch of crap from the media, but I thought it was super interesting and started following them. Now, they have this great team because they made that sacrifice over those five years to get great draft picks.”
He played basketball when he was younger but never made the team at Holy Spirit. It sounded like the wound in his heart was still a little fresh, so we’ll move on.
Regardless, Mike loves beer. One of his favorite pastimes is to visit breweries with his girlfriend, Cassie.
“I love all things beer,” he says. “We love heading out and trying all the beers and meeting different people.”
He’s a self-described “nerd.” He plays a lot of video games, mainly Call of Duty and Madden.
“The ushe,” he laughs.
Mike enjoys coming down to Cape May each day.
“It’s charming in a weird way,” he says. “It’s really cool that we’re right here at the airport.”
And Mike really enjoys the efforts of the Social Committee. We do have a decent number of company events here, and he’s looking forward to attending a lot of them.
“It’s cool that we have so many events that we all get to get together,” he says. “Like the Phillies game. Very slowly, I’m getting to know everyone. When I first started, there were so many names, it was overwhelming. Getting to know everyone outside of work — the company culture stuff we do here — team-building. It’s awesome.”
And he’s really enjoying his time here thus far. In fact, we caught up with Mike just after Justin had treated his team to breakfast.
“I can’t complain whatsoever,” he laughs. “There’s a real emphasis on team. Like, just now, Justin treating us to breakfast. I’d never worked at a place that did anything like that. Couldn’t even get a Sizzli at Wawa.”
As a fan, Mike has had a lot of time to decide on his favorite beer: Follow the Gull.
“It’s the perfect IPA,” he says. “The flavor’s great, it’s not bitter, you can drink it all day. The hops are a perfect combination.”
Mike is usually delivering up in the northern reaches of the state. If you happen to see him out on the road, be sure to say hello!