When I joined BaxterStorey as a barista back in 2016, I didn’t expect that five years later I’d be head of coffee at an online fashion retailer. It still feels odd when I say it!
I love everything about working with coffee, from making oat milk lattes for our regular customers to coming up with quirky ideas to keep our coffee bar offers fresh and innovative. I manage a small team of baristas and we all have such a good laugh.
The BaxterStorey Barista Academy has been a real stepping-stone in giving me the opportunity to learn more about the world of coffee. As well as gaining qualifications, there’s a big social side and I run a Friday Barista Club for us to get together, talk all things coffee, practice latte art and just have fun.
My biggest supporter is Jana, our Barista Academy manager, she has become a great friend and encouraged me to enter the BaxterStorey Barista Championships. In 2018 I came second, and entered the following year determined to achieve first place! When our CEO, Noel read my name out as the winner, I was so shocked I jumped up and hugged him! A memory my manager said she won’t ever forget.
Competing improved my confidence so much and led to my next step, representing the whole of the UK in Milan at the 2019 Espresso Italiano Championships. It was an incredible experience, plus I was the only female competing.
As well as competitions, there is so much opportunity to share our experience across the business. I was asked to share a step-by-step guide of my oat milk winter spiced macchiato for a Christmas campaign. I was featured on the company website and did an Instagram takeover. It was so much fun, and I had people coming up to me at our Food Festivals to say hi as they had seen me Instagram, so it has been a great way to meet new people in the company.