Question: Tell me about your career path before joining Grinders Coffee?
I have a long career history within the coffee industry – I started as a barista before progressing to coffee roaster and trainer to quality control and green bean buyer before I settled on my calling within Grinders Coffee as a Coffee Specialist.
As you can see, I am passionate about coffee from crop to cup to café.
Question: Why did you join the Grinders Coffee team?
For me, I wanted to learn more and progress my career and experience further within the coffee industry; and I knew Grinders as a good company that can provide me that growth. I also wanted to share my coffee knowledge with the community and customers – it feels rewarding every day.
Question: What is a coffee specialist, and what is the process to becoming a specialist?
A coffee specialist for me is anybody who has enough experience and good coffee knowledge to answer the why’s in the coffee industry. It’s also a good practice to start having experience being a barista to understand the basics before venturing to coffee roasting, quality control, green bean buyer or coffee training. Cutting corners doesn’t help. The more roles you experience, the more knowledge you get.
Question: As a coffee specialist, what are the key ingredients to delivering a better coffee experience for our customers?
Our arsenal as coffee specialist is always our experience and coffee knowledge. By having the right experience, we can support a customer’s needs by being able to train them in various levels while providing answers on the why’s to improve profitability and quality.
Question: Tell me about Hungry Fox Café? How does it differ from other cafes? How are you delivering a better coffee experience?
Hungry Fox Café is one of the cafe’s that I work together with, and is currently using our premium brand, SoCo Roasters. This café started out using only our blend up until we introduced single origins, from then on, I began training the staff on how to maximize the single origins taste profile by doing various brewing methods.
Since they started doing batch brews, they’re single O orders has increased. I’ve also work with them to retail our beans by providing specific grind setting for different brewing methods to maximize their ek43 equipment resulting in additional coffee sales.
For a brand stand point, Hungry Fox Café is a new unique café that has a forest wood-cabin atmosphere, which no other café can offer, and is also located in an airport where our brand can get good exposure.
Question: What are the key challenges facing the coffee industry and what is Grinders Coffee doing about it?
The main challenge that I normally encounter is coffee pricing and support within the industry. By creating different blends of different segmentations, we are able to compete with coffee pricing. By also offering new equipment options with training, we are able to provide better service and support for our clients.
Question: In your opinion, what is the Grinders Coffee’s area of focus for the next 12 months?
I think Grinders Coffee will continue to focus on building the brand in the local market and expending their presence nationally.
Question: When customers visit a Grinders café, what experience do you want them to have?
Customer service is the core of hospitality while skills are the driver for growth and progress. Your coffee on a Monday should taste exactly the same on a Friday.
I want customers to leave with a smile knowing that they are always welcome to get a good cup of coffee free of judgement while knowing it tastes consistently good through-out the week. This to me is very important as consistency of flavor draws in regulars and it also reflects on our brand and the people that represents it.
Question: And finally, what is your first coffee of the day? How do you take it?
I normally make myself a “double shot Flatwhite” for my first coffee of the day.