How do you take your coffee?
Drip coffee, black. Also fond of espresso macchiato
Tell us about some of the challenges (and joys!) of being a coffee entrepreneur/member of the coffee community.
One of the main joys of being part of the Canadian coffee community is the people. Irrespective of their background or the sector they represent, coffee people are approachable, open to dialogue and incredibly passionate. In my experience, from baristas and café owners, to representatives from larger coffee retailers and operators, the Canadian community has become a super friendly and supportive group. Even when attending trade shows or events outside of Canada, bumping into a Canadian is always a refreshing and welcome stop.
A challenge I sometimes encounter is that coffee folk can come off as being ‘elitist’. The notion that ‘every coffee has a home’ rings true to me and, as such, I think we could all benefit from appreciating the variety of coffee qualities, processing and brewing methods, and taste profiles that exist! Of course, we are all welcome to express our personal preferences; after all, this is the joy of coffee.
Has the Canadian coffee landscape changed in terms of diversity & inclusion since you've started working 24 years ago?
YES! When I started in the industry in 1998, there was not much visible diversity. Over the years, I have seen more people with fresh ideas enter the industry and that is very encouraging.
If you could work towards ONE thing to increase diversity & inclusion in Canadian coffee, what would this be?
I would focus on reflecting diversity of broader Canadian society in our industry. Efforts such as this (CAC’s focus on D&I) along with active participation from BIPOC members at Association meetings and events will help elevate the issues of diversity and inclusion, while inspiring new and young BIPOC members to identify and connect with existing leaders.