Staff Profile: Zachary O'Brien

Zach only sleeps 3-4 hours per day. Inspired by such great minds as Nikola Tesla and Leonardo Da Vinci, Zach has adopted a polyphasic sleep schedule. It is said that Tesla only slept for two hours per day and Da Vinci slept for 1.5-2 hours per day, napping for 10 minutes every two hours to achieve this total. Common in the animal kingdom and many well-known historical figures, the obvious benefit of a polyphasic sleep cycle is that it results in more waking hours in which one can pursue all sorts of interests and hobbies.

What does Zach do with his increased number of waking hours? He writes and is currently working on an autobiography. He studies tea, i.e. how it is picked, grown, brewed, and what makes a quality tea vs. a lesser tea. He is interested to learn how tea benefits the body and finds art in the process and the flavors of various teas. He is also interested in how far he can push his body. From experimenting with his diet to tinkering with his sleep, Zach is fascinated by how the body adapts and what it needs. He currently eats only small, "powerful" meals like cacao nibs and cashews and drinks a lot of tea.

Originally from Missoula, Montana, Zach spent summers in Albion, Washington. After graduating high school, he attended college for a while and worked seasonal jobs in Yellowstone National Park and Big Sky Resort. He came to Moscow in search of “people of a like mind" – people who live and express themselves authentically – and has succeeded in the search.

Zach started working at the Moscow Food Co-op on April Fool's Day 2016 in the deli. He has been a barista since October. Almost a year into his tenure at the Co-op, he says that it's "the best job I've ever had." He has learned a lot about the rigors of running a business and techniques that have shaped how he would approach his own business someday.

And he does think about operating his own business in the future: a community-supported business that makes and sells everything from make-up to medicines to art. There would be opportunities to share knowledge and take classes. Although he is still working out the details, Zach is committed to planning for this eventuality.

  • Favorite Moscow Food Co-op Food: 1. cashews 2. hummus
  • Favorite Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Favorite Movie: Adam Sandler movies, specifically “That's My Boy” with Sandler and Andy Samberg
  • Superpower: Extreme Focus