JAMES RASZA |
Co-Founder, CEO, Worker Owner
James brings a passion for worker cooperatives and organizing to the team. He hails from Gray, Maine, and has a bachelor’s degree in Community Studies and Economic Justice from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His extensive experience in economic justice organizing includes working for Young Workers United, a workers’ center that educates workers and recent immigrants on their rights as employees; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as both a political organizer and a community organizer; and Jobs with Justice, where he coordinated campaigns that brought together labor, community, faith, student, and immigrant groups. James has also interned for the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives, where he documented models of worker ownership and developed recommendations for expansion and funding models, as well as for Equal Exchange, one of the largest worker-owned businesses in the United States. James until recently was the Director of Campaigns for 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future, a community-led climate justice organization. Last but no less important, James has five years experience in the service industry, including work as a barback, dishwasher, bartender, food runner, event staff, and barista, and interned with Jason Taggart, Head Brewer of John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House.
JASON TAGGART |
Brewing Director, Worker Owner
Jason is a man of mystery.. stay tuned for his adventures!
TOM EDES |
General Manager, Worker Owner
Tom is a true local, and was born and bred in Boston, MA. While he has an IT background, he's spent a large portion of his career in the restaurant industry. Starting at age 16 as a dishwasher, he naturally grew through the ranks of restaurants, and joined Democracy Brewing as a server in 2018. He knew headbrewer Jason from their time together at John Harvards, and it was an easy choice to join the journey at Democracy. You know what they say- make great beer, and they will follow! Very shortly after opening, Tom proved himself to be an integral part of the team, and became the General Manager early in the fall of 2018. He is passionate about continued education and the importance of reading. He has since started an employee book club focusing on other co-ops and the importance of team work in the industry. He also keeps his brain sharp with an ongoing game of chess with Chef Bobby, and is an avid tea drinker.
BEN ‘WAX’ WAXLER | Assistant GM, Worker Owner
Wax is a 16 year veteran of the restaurant business, earning experience at a handful of quality establishments in Boston, doing everything from washing dishes to management and ownership. After a short-lived second education studying Biomedical Engineering, Wax left Boston University to pursue his passion for cooking and hospitality at Newbury College. His experience includes stints at La Morra, Ten Tables, The Haven, Trade, and Heritage. Wax helped Democracy Brewing open its doors as the Executive Chef/Worker-Owner, and designed the kitchen with a creative pub fare, made from scratch mentality. He manned the kitchen until his Sous Chef Bobby took the reigns, and now acts as Assistant General Manager. He is passionate about employee-ownership, great beer, great food and stellar hospitality. He is excited to help the company grow into the future.
BOBBY O’SHEA | Executive Chef, Worker Owner
Chef Bobby started young in the industry, and learned through classical training in restaurants such as Deuxave, D Bar, Troquet and Straight Wharf in Nantucket. He had instant chemistry with the team when he came over to Democracy, and shares Tom's philosophy about continuing education with his staff. Between individual training, critical thought and reading materials, there's always something new to learn and improve upon. For the menu, he has focused his fine dining techniques to use New England ingredients to create homemade, comfort food. He strives for a zero waste kitchen, and sources ingredients locally, with menu changes happening in relation to the seasons. The menu was carefully curated around foods that pair well with beer, and it has been a strong collaborative effort with our head brewer, Jason, to come up with items that can help best showcase both menus.
MIKE OOZOONIAN | Chef de Cuisine
Mike started his career in the food industry at a young age by attending a vocational school for culinary arts. His passion lead him to several notable roles in the Colannade Hotel, Boston Chops and D Bar- where he first met our Executive Chef Bobby, in 2010. After having his first son, Noah, he moved to Providence, RI, where he started a magical relationship working at Gracie's for several years. After being introduced to Ben Lloyd, he went to work at the Salted Slate and then became the executive chef at Chomp, in Warren, RI. Most recently, he returned to Boston from a one year stint in Texas to help establish a teamwork centric culture at Basin Burger house. Mike is a big proponent of loyalty, and brings with him a positive energy and unique talent to see food in a different perspective, while happily staying a child at heart. PS. He also loves tacos!
KARSEN ECKWEILER | Events & Marketing Coordinator
Karsen is a New England native, with a business degree in Event Management from Champlain College, Vermont. Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Cleveland, Ohio to run the events and dining room at a private country club. There she expanded her horizon with working in sporting, corporate, non-profit and social events, with a focus on weddings. Three years later with a desire to return to New England, she moved to Boston to manage the taproom and events at Bantam Cider, learning the ins and outs of the local alcohol scene. Now at Democracy, she brings with her an eclectic style, zest, and enthusiasm, with a passion for creating memorable experiences. Outside of work, you can find her spending time with her dog, exploring New England for the best hand crafted latte or making custom sugar cookies at home.
BRETT JOHNSON | Assistant Manager, Worker Owner
Brett is a lifetime local from Everett, with over ten years experience in the food and beverage industry - recently finding his new home at Democracy Brewing as a Worker-Owner. Brett came on board as a server, transitioned to Lead Bartender, and recently assumed the position of Assistant Manager. His resume boasts establishments such as Not Your Average Joe's, Legal Sea Foods, and Atlantic Beverage Distributors. With a vast knowledge of beer, wine, and spirits, he holds a special affection for craft beverages and brewery culture. His attention to detail and "guest-forward" attitude in regards to hospitality translates into a particularly unique experience for those who walk trough the brewery doors. When he's not at the beer hall, you can find him at Sacco's Bowling in Davis Square playing candlepin, or getting a round of golf in with his lifelong friends. Brett’s favorite beer at Democracy is the Fighting 54th saison - give it a try next time you’re here!