Ant started his career out, as many in this industry do, as a barista. His attention to detail and awareness of the need for individualized customer service propelled him to positions of management, café operations and leadership training roles.
He has completed multiple certifications from the Specialty Coffee Association of America and is certified to teach courses from their Level 1 Barista and Level 1 Roaster pathways. Ant enjoys the aspect of sensory skills and has honed his palate as the head of Roasting & Quality Control in his previous position. He’s also been involved with judging US Coffee Competitions since 2013, his most recent role is as Chair of the US Roaster Championship Competition Committee. He’s been an active sensory and Head judge for Brewer’s Cup and Roasters Championship, both at regionals and Nationals, for the past six years. He has also judged internationally as an observer judge at the 2013 Guatemala Cup of Excellence.
His ability to identify a person’s specific learning style and needs has helped students by making training sessions individualized and fun. Resulting in a higher level of retention of information. A high percentage of his trainees have moved on to leadership roles in their own careers as well. Ant is intent on becoming a mentor by example as a way to pay it forward for all the guidance he’s received along the way in his career.
Rita has over 16 years of experience in the specialty coffee industry focusing primarily on operations management and training. She has also enjoyed positions on editorial advisory boards and contributing to product development projects. Since 2006, she has been involved with the Barista Competitions and has obtained experience as a judge and coach in the regional, national and international events. She currently sits as Chair of the US Coffee in Good Spirits Competition Committee.
Rita prides herself on making the environment around her more inviting, efficient and organized. After decades of management experience, she has mastered the ability to: successfully maintain cafes, retain happy employees and provide as positive and rewarding customer experience.
Her strengths lie in creating customized operating procedures and coordinating the multiple variables of running a business. From building training guides to helping you troubleshoot equipment problems, Rita is well versed in the industry and looking to assist you toward your business goals. It is a delicate balance for café owners to provide exceptional quality in beverages and service to their customers. Rita is excited to share her knowledge and experience on how to become more systematic and prosperous.