Member profiles – The Roasting Department

What happens after the shake-up of #2020? It’s exciting to see when coffee companies evolve with innovation and join forces to create a new business. We chat with Jessica Macdonald about the creation of The Roasting Department and why it makes sense in the current climate.

How long have you been trading?

We officially opened the doors at the beginning of July 2020.

Tell us about your role?

My role is Operations Manager, I’m in charge of onboarding all new customers, coffee quality and training.

What is the best part of your job?

The Collaborative aspect of it, being able to work with lots of different roasting companies and people. 

What is the biggest challenge your business faces?

Global pandemics! Every link in the coffee supply chain has been affected by COVID. From crop to cup everything has become a little harder for everyone.  

What is your favourite part of the industry?

Though our industry is highly competitive, there is also a sense of community within it. It’s also great watching Roasters innovate and being passionate about what they produce. 

What’s something that people are surprised to learn about your company?

That we’re not here to compete with other Roasters, but to help them. The Roasting Department is a collaborative space where Roasters can access and share infrastructure and knowledge in a commercial setting. The Roasting Department provides an offering that’s not only unique to the NZ roasting scene but also essential given the current climate.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry since your company has been operating?

COVID has forced many Roasters to pivot or think creatively to meet the challenges presented by this pandemic. Closely followed by being so far away from other countries, things are harder to get down here and more expensive! 

What change would you like to see?

Less competition, more collaboration. We’re all trying to get through this situation. Makes sense to do it together.

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