Melissa Villanueva

Melissa Villanueva

Founder & CEO

Brewpoint Coffee

Elmhurst, IL USA

Coffee shops have the ability to be a modern-day watering hole, where people come in every single day and you can authentically meet and get to know them.


By Roadtrip Nation

Melissa Villanueva


My road in life has taken me all over.
I worked as a Starbucks barista in high school and loved it because of the authentic experiences I’d have with customers.
I majored in philosophy in college but wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with that degree.
In order to help pay off my student loans, I took a door-to-door sales job selling books—I ended up being unusually good at it and was even ranked as the number four salesperson in the country!
The skills and recognition I gained in that sales job led to business offers after I graduated college—I took a corporate job as a director of recruitment and team development for a financial firm.
Eventually I met my husband, who encouraged me to quit my corporate job and become more of a dreamer.
After going on a self-discovery trip to the Philippines, I told my husband that I wanted to open a coffee shop one day.
While looking for an espresso machine on Craigslist, I found a coffee shop for sale and bought it within one month.
Since buying that first location, we have grown to three coffee shops, an event space, and a coffee roastery!
Keep following my journey


High School
Wheaton College


Founder & CEO

I create communities by owning and running coffee shops.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Working with Others

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Take the risk! Take the risk early and take the risk often. Especially as a high school graduate, you have a lot less weighing on you and more room to take risks. The more that you take risks, the more you're able to learn. Even if a particular endeavor is not successful, you're able to take what you've learned from the experience and apply it to the next. I believe that the more often you do that, the more prepared you are for the endeavor you really want to invest in at a larger level.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Maybe I'm just an 'entitled millennial' and I should just accept and be happy with my career."