How do you take your coffee?
Black, just as my ancestors did. No sugar, No Cream.
What does Eight50 mean?
Eight50 Coffee is named in honour of the year coffee was discovered (850AD), and to pay homage to the birthplace of coffee as well as our own coffee heritage. We chose a name that not only was personal to us but one that tells a story of origins, ancient rituals and beginnings.
Tell us about some of the joys of being a coffee entrepreneur/member of the coffee community
I particularly enjoy being able to collaborate with other coffee professionals on new coffee offerings and the creative outlet coffee provides me . Sharing coffee history from its inception , while also learning about unique and untold coffee history is always an eye opener that I enjoy exploring.
Name ONE or TWO things that have stood out to you in Canadian coffee that you would like to see improved
It would be how coffee is marketed. Marketing plays a tremendous role in how the beverage is perceived - words and visuals are powerful . I would love to see more BIPOC representation when marketing to better reflect the diverse make up of Canada.
Has the Canadian coffee landscape changed in terms of diversity & inclusion since you've started working 10+ years ago?
I think it has changed since I started over a decade ago. I've seen an increase in BIPOC visibility in a few areas like retail, roaster and brand level, however the numbers are still relatively small. We still have more work to do in terms of inclusion, accessibility and increasing supplier diversity on retail shelves.
I would love to see more BIPOC professionals in senior executive and board positions in coffee. If it's the same voices leading the decision making, year after year we can’t expect to have different results or improvements.