By Angela Green: Baristas graduate with Company of Cooks, Gather & Gather and Vacherin.
Company of Cooks, Gather & Gather and Vacherin, together with social enterprise Well Grounded, have celebrated the achievements of 11 graduate baristas who have successfully completed an eight-week Specialty Barista Traineeship and are preparing to embark on their careers with the three hospitality businesses.
The successful collaboration trains, accredits and supports individuals facing barriers to employment into work. The programme provides technical coffee training and employability skills, with paid work placements at prestigious London sites within the portfolios of Company of Cooks, Gather & Gather and Vacherin, which are all part of CH&CO, and guaranteed work on completion.
The eight-week course is accredited by the Specialty Coffee Association, with each graduate gaining a professional barista qualification plus Level 2 in both Customer Service and Food Safety.
Over the duration of the programme, the graduates gained a solid foundation of knowledge to help them grow and thrive. They developed customer service and technical coffee skills, as well as essential professional and personal skills through their work placements and one-to-one mentoring.
Their achievements were celebrated at a graduation ceremony in London that saw the graduates showcase their learnings through the brewing and serving of delicious coffee and sharing their inspiring personal journeys.
Rob Fredrickson, Managing Director for Company of Cooks, said: “Heartfelt congratulations to all the graduates. Over the eight weeks of the Specialty Barista Traineeship, they’ve shown incredible verve and determination, which has seen them develop professionally into talented, qualified baristas and personally as exceptional people with infinite potential.
“Our partnership with Well Grounded started in 2017 and underpins our commitment to the communities we work in and with, and to championing the hospitality industry as an exciting and rewarding career opportunity, attracting new talent and making a positive difference. We’re very proud to now have trained and enabled 68 brilliant baristas to work with us in our cafés and coffee shops across London, and I speak on behalf of my fellow MDs in Gather & Gather and Vacherin when I say we’re excited to welcome the latest cohort into our family and see where their careers take them.”
Eve Wagg, Founder and CEO of Well Grounded, said: “This partnership embodies our values at Well Grounded: Collaboration, Diversity & Inclusion, Quality and Empowerment. Together with Company of Cooks, Gather & Gather and Vacherin we bring our individual areas of expertise together to create lasting impact; to provide a quality product, and to celebrate the power of what can be achieved individually and as a collective. It is about developing a new, exciting, diverse talent pipeline for the coffee industry but most of all it’s about empowerment. To empower each of us to grow and fulfil our potential – I believe everyone who is touched by this partnership is changed and today is a sign of how it impacts so many lives.”
Well Grounded is an award-winning social enterprise that provides accredited coffee training programmes, work placements and ongoing support to Londoners facing social and economic barriers to employment. Since conception in 2016, it has supported over 320 people into work, with 83% sustaining work for over 6 months.