- What has been your proudest moment from the last 12 months?
There have been so many over the last year but I always feel great when someone tweets or posts on social media about how much they are enjoying my coffee. I feel very humbled that people are loving it- as well as having taken the time to shout about what we do.
- Why did you get into the coffee industry?
I discovered my love for coffee whilst I was at university. I had a job as a barista in the campus coffee shop and was able to experiment - so that's where it all began really! After graduating, I then went on to work for Harris + Hoole. They put me through intensive training where I got to mature my pallet and understand more about the complexities in coffee. It made me really appreciate the artistry involved in making great coffee and also understand that there is so much beauty in the simplicity of it too.
- Where do you see yourself and Garage Coffee one year from now?
I really want to continue to serve wonderful customers and bring them the best coffee the world has to offer. I'd love to reach more and more people all over the UK. It's so important to me that the brand is represented in the right way and that the coffee is served at it's fullest potential. I love to visit businesses who serve my coffee and work with them to ensure that it is perfect for their customers.
- What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to start up their own business?
Go for it! It is a lot of hard work and the hours do mount up, but there is nothing like seeing something you have created being enjoyed by people. Most importantly, know your own mind and what you want to achieve.
- What makes you excited when you wake up each morning?
My customers! I am working with wonderful people - both online customers, as well as my trade partners - the range of people and places that my coffee reaches is vast. It is so inspiring to work with others who are incredibly passionate about their produce; it makes me want to push myself as hard as I can to deliver the highest quality to them.
- When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always enjoyed making, doing and organising things. I went to study hospitality at university because I knew I liked being involved with people and food – so seemed a good pairing!
- What was your first business idea?
Believe it or not, when I was really young I used to hold foreign language classes for my family! I would charge my Dad to come and learn Spanish in my bedroom. I also ran a little shop from my bedroom at the same time – alas there is only so long you can sell household objects back to your parents!
- How do you define success?
I really like this quote from Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” I think that sums it up!
- What or who inspires you?
I find inspiration in many things but I think what I love learning about the most, that inspires me in what I do, is the actually farmers that are producing the coffee I sell. Take our new arrival from Colombia (La Quinua Alto) as an example. Juan Carlos Solarte & Sonia Bastidas took the step into growing speciality coffee about three years ago, and now they are able to afford to send their children to better schools – a luxury which a lot of children in their region don’t have. We take so many things for granted in this country, so to know that by buying their coffee it is literally making a huge difference, in such a simple way, is the most inspiring thing for me.
- What's the perfect coffee? How do you brew it?
Every morning I have coffee through the V60 dripper. It's actually probably one of the simplest ways to brew- and the quickest! The flavour that this brew method produces is so crisp, clean and fresh and I drink copious amounts of the stuff throughout the day. I'd definitely recommend our V60 starter kits to anyone - especially those who want to get more into coffee as it is in no way time consuming - perfect for any time of day!