Down the rabbit hole with Sophie

How did all of this start? That’s a crazy question.

Probably started brewing a few years back after university. Going to school I never really knew what I wanted to do. Since I couldn’t decide, I choose a general degree: Bachelor of Business and Administration specialized in Marketing at HEC Montreal. Finally, I finished school but I still felt quite lost as to what I wanted to do in life. I decided I would travel for a year and see where that would lead.

One of my rituals during my travels was to enjoy a cappuccino in a coffee shop. This was my personal treat and my moment of mindfulness for the day. Back then wifi wasn’t super common and I would just love to sit there, read, think and savour my coffee. I kept the tradition alive as I changed cities and countries. When I landed in Australia, I really started getting into the coffee scene which was already pretty solid back then. I would go coffee crawling and took notes on what I liked most about each café; the idea of having my own place one day really started to take form.

When I came home, I still had no idea what to do, but I needed money given I hadn’t worked in a year just spending all my savings (but so worth it by the way).  I started applying on marketing jobs; you know put the degree to good use. Found a great job and started climbing the corporate ladder.

During that time, I also got injured and had to get two consecutive knee surgeries to repair my ACL, those where challenging times. I had to re-learn to walk and rebuild my leg completely from scratch five times over the course of a few years. It’s crazy how we take the simplest things for granted until they are taken away from us. I will never take walking for granted; my health is my greatest treasure.

When things where finally settling down and I could start walking again, I started to really itch and feel constrained by the corporate career path. I had tried a few projects of entrepreneurship and I really wanted to give my dream a shot and open my own coffee shop. I am a pretty reasonable person though so first I needed to understand how and what working in a café is like.

I started asking around for barista jobs, but I was told I didn’t have any experience. I searched for a school and found the Montreal Coffee Academy; I immediately registered. That’s where I meant David. After my training, I started working with them and help out on the marketing side of the business. At the time I still had my corporate job, but after just a month of working in the coffee world I realized I wanted to learn more and took the plunge. I quit my comfortable, socially acceptable job and started working as a full-time barista at minimum wage. They say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, yup that’s pretty accurate!

There is this romantic idea that having your own coffee shop is a breeze and you can relax and go surfing all the time. The reality is: it’s a lot of work, a lot of hours, a lot of customer service and daily struggles. I loved working as a barista and greeting our regulars daily. Two years in and I realized I still wanted it; but I also wanted more...

That’s when we started dreaming up the idea of a roastery. This to me sounded like the perfect plan as there is so much we can achieve as a roaster. We can offer wholesale coffee; we can open a coffee shop; I could use my marketing skills and be my own boss.

Now I am here. I am a boss lady, a business women, a strong women of coffee and an entrepreneur. It’s not easy and we are really trying to do things differently, but these challenges drive me and keep pushing me to become a better version of myself.

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