We would like to introduce you to our newly formed Barista and Roaster guild committee, each one of these people brings their own wonderful set of skills to the committee and we are looking forward to seeing what they achieve this year!
Co-Chairs (Chairs of the guild also have positions on the board)
René Macaulay – Peoples Coffee, Wellington
Rene started roasting at Peoples Coffee on a 5kg Probat in 2007, learning the old school way fuelled by double ristrettos. As is always the way, just as he thought he’d settled into his role something new spread across the horizon and changed the playing field as we knew it – that something was specialty coffee.
Since then Rene has been focused on developing his understanding of roasting & brewing to best meet and develop our growing market with a product and supply chain he is proud of.
Rene regularly travels to Origin to spend time with co-op management and experience life on the ground with coffee farmers. Always the goal of these trips is to best understand how to grow strategic, long term partnerships in a way which can be mutually beneficial and foster a better future.
Rene is passionate about change & problem solving and he’s only satisfied when he engages analytically to actually change or create reality.
Addison Dale – Pure Cafe, Christchurch
Addison has worked in the coffee industry at various cafe’s & roasteries for the past 8 years. During this time Addison has competed in the New Zealand Barista Champs three times and in the New Zealand Latte Art Champs. He has also represented New Zealand on the World Stage at the World Barista Championships in Seattle 2015.
Alex Casserly – Crafted Coffee Company
In my six years in the coffee industry I have worked a variety of roles. Starting from cafe assistant moving to cafe manager and now director of wholesale for Crafted Coffee Company. My daily job is also filled with a mixture of tasks including, but not exclusive to making coffee in the cafe, roasting, coffee dispatch and wholesale/account management. Along with my 6years of industry experience I have competed three times in the Huhtamaki New Zealand barista championship and once in the brewers cup with goals of representing New Zealand on the world stage. I aim to use my variety of experience and knowledge, to help best represent the industry and continue to grow the already strong barista/roaster community in New Zealand.
David Huang – Black and Gold eatery
I have been in coffee since 2001, started off as grass root cafe runner and worked my way up through barista, cafe manager, barista trainer, operation manager/roaster and now a hospitality business owner. I have also been active in the community scene, let it be competitng/judging in barista competition or eating sausages and slurping coffee in the background of a coffee event. My true passion has been with developing coffee and the people that shares the same goal. Live by the code of striving for excellence and sharing is caring. Giving back to the commuinity that nurtured me is to become part of my professional goal. Let us live and breath coffee, make coffee not war 🙂
Nico Retiti – Ozone Coffee Roasters
Originally growing up in the central suburbs of Auckland and spending a few years slinging coffees and cocktails in Australia, I’m now settled down in New Plymouth.
Having spent my entire working life in and around the hospitality industry I’ve sampled many different jobs, but always found myself drawn towards specialty coffee! I now work as a Barista Trainer for Ozone Coffee Roasters and enjoy getting out on the road to visit cafes and baristas across the North Island.
I’ve always had an interest in hospitality competitions and have competed at various levels including the New Zealand Barista Championships the last two years.
I’m passionate about great service, skepticism, teaching and learning something new.
Ria Lingard – Cerebos Gregg’s, Auckland
I currently work as a Coffee Technologist at Cerebos Gregg’s. It is a role I thoroughly enjoy as I get to create coffee products for the New Zealand market, from instant to fresh coffee in many different forms that Kiwis enjoy. With such a diverse coffee portfolio I work on, I have developed a broad perspective in research and development as well as quality assurance and continuous improvement.
I’ve been lucky to have competed at the 2016 New Zealand Brewer’s Cup and World Brewer’s Cup in Dublin. I’m really pleased to be involved with an amazing team of people to further elevate and create inspiring opportunities within the local coffee industry!
Zach Widener – Caribe Coffee, Wellington
My story is quite unique. I was born in America , raised in South America and the Caribbean mainly Jamaica by my Father who was in Government work. I first learned about the coffee business in Jamaica. We would sell roasted coffee at my parents business in Jamaica. I worked as a PADI Dive Instructor for many years in the family biz from as early as 15. We had a Duty Free shop open 365 days a year and I sold a lot of Blue Mountain coffee as a youth. Worked in complex IT solutions provider roles for the next 15 years moved to New Zealand then met and married my beautiful wife Naomi. Together we started and continue to run our Roasting business in 2008 from the ground up and we have been staunchly Independent. I come from outside of the industry and that gives me a great perspective.