Leadership Team



Kate Baker

Co-Founder & Flagship Store Owner

In addition to being an adviser for Craft Beer Cellar's Franchise Company, every day, Kate works tirelessly to bring Craft Beer Cellar Belmont the best beer this amazing industry has to offer; and sometimes, she does it literally, by way of the delivery van! A restaurateur in her past life, Kate made the jump to retail and hasn’t looked back. Everything she does is for amazing beer. A devotee of hospitality, inclusion, welcoming environments, and any song by Brandi Carlile, Kate can always be found in and around Belmont and believes hugs and hi-fives make craft beer a better place.

The beer she can't stop thinking about:
Schilling Alexandr '10



Ken Cioffredi

Product Manager & Bottle Shop Mentor

Ken has been involved in the hospitality industry his entire working life, having spent the last decade in beer retail. When not managing the product matrix of all beers distributed in the world, he continues to hone his teaching & training skills, by modeling at the flagship store. Connecting with people and empowering confidence in customers experiences & beer choices is really what drives him. You can find Ken in Belmont, on the road helping stores get open, watching soccer, or hanging with his hedgehog, Otis.

The beer he can't stop thinking about:
Oxbow Luppolo Pilsner



Patrick Howe

Technology Manager

Coming from a large corporate retail background, Patrick loves the personal interactions and direct influence that comes with a smaller company. He was a customer first, before joining the ranks at the flagship store in Belmont, and now works as the Technology Manager for the franchise company. When not dealing with e-mail, e-commerce, or other e-mergencies, he's usually spending time with his family. Patrick will try any beer once; twice if it's dark or English.

The beer he can't stop thinking about:
Fuller's London Pride



Phil Cassella

Marketing Manager

Phil is passionate about telling the stories of the people and businesses behind the beer we love, primarily through the visual mediums of photography and design. With a B.S. in Marketing from Syracuse University and having completed the University of Vermont's Business of Craft Beer certificate program, Phil knew he wanted to be a part of this industry from an early age, and tailored his education around it. You typically won't find anything with an SRM greater than 10 in his glass, but there's a good chance it will be a Czech Pils, mixed-fermentation Saison, or a soft Pale Ale.

The beer he can't stop thinking about:
Notch The Standard (preferably served Mlìko)



Sallie Portuondo

Executive & Brand Management

Sallie is from Peru, and for the last 18 years, she has been keen on taking over the hospitality industry with her Latina flair. As a young llama, it wasn't long before her love for lagers was sheared away by the booming craft beer industry in Boston. Through much exploration, her palate has changed, and although she still has lots of love for the lagers she grew up with, she has also learned to love and respect many other styles, especially if they are packed with hops or loaded with dark Belgian candi sugar! Sallie assists with all administrative areas of the franchise company, and is also a trainer for new store owners. When not helping to manage the franchise company, she is modeling good inventory maintenance and financial standards at the flagship store. When not working, she can be found on long walks with her dog, Brewster, or singing karaoke in a bar near you!

The beer she can't stop thinking about:
Battery Steel Flume



Suzanne Schalow

Co-Founder & Franchise Owner

After working in beer for more than a decade, Suzanne rolled up her sleeves and got serious about her beer education - in 2012, she earned the title of Certified Cicerone®! Since that time, she’s wrangled with Cicerone’s advanced exams, become a judge for the Beer Judge Certification Program, and developed a retail beer educational program called The Society of Master Beercierge. Teaching and talking beer are two of the things she’s most excited about, which translate perfectly when working with new & potential Craft Beer Cellar franchisees. A lover of most styles, she believes a perfect beer is balanced by the sum of its parts, especially if it's Belgian!

The beer she can't stop thinking about:
Spencer Trappist Ale



Virginia Thomas

Education & Programming Director

In addition to being a Certified Cicerone, she is an Introductory Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. After nearly 10 years of working in craft beer education, she finds that talking to people about what beverages they like and why, and helping them to choose new beers to try (that they will hopefully like) - is her favorite part of the job. Her home base is Chicago, but she's often found in the Boston area, New Orleans, or wherever her passion for good food & drink takes her.

The beer she can't stop thinking about:
Hailstorm České Temný Czech Style Dark Lager