Don't hire your customers

We work with a lot of employers, and have been crunching some data recently. It might seem crazy, but many speciality coffee businesses regularly see staff turnover of 80 percent or more each year.

But what if a bit more investment into new kinds of employees -- people who normally wouldn't get the chance -- could increase the stability of a work force whilst opening new pathways to people who actually need the work?

Pro Baristas' Ben Szobody recently spoke on this subject at the request of the Speciality Coffee Association at one of their CoLab conferences in Belfast. Enjoy.

Entry level to seasoned pro

Among the funnest things we do is helping total newcomers to coffee (many without meaningful job prospects) become seasoned professionals with satisfying careers.

Some of them get into coffee waaay further than they thought possible. Lewis is one of them.

He was one of our first apprentices, and now leads others at Ground Coffeehouses in Kemptown and Lewes. You can also occasionally spot him on our pop-up bars and the Small Batch carts. 

Pro Baristas at World of Coffee

Our head trainer, Laura Lumsden, is in Dublin this week for the year's biggest coffee confab, including the World Barista Championships and Re;Co, a symposium of coffee research and collaboration.

Thus far, she seems to have tasted syrupy American blueberries from a tin (for sensory science!), swilled instant coffee that doesn't suck (for research!) and absorbed a little botany to boot (for posterity!). 

She's also repping Pro Baristas, as we move toward more collaborations that join up speciality training with social investment. Thanks to Re;Co for sponsoring Laura's attendance.

Meanwhile, follow along as she swerves amongst the stalls here.