New Compass Barista Academy manager to drive programme forward

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services provider and fourth biggest coffee retailer, has joined forces with rising coffee star Sonali Taylor (pictured), who takes up the position of Coffee Education and Training Manager.

Tailor, with her passion for all things coffee, and extensive experience as an accredited Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) trainer in Barista Skills and Brewing, will drive the Compass Barista Academy programme forward. She will help build on an already impressive coffee offering with ambitious growth plans for new Compass café formats and in-house coffee brands, Peak Street and Crackle & Hum.

Steve Lovegrove, Head of Business Excellence – Central Marketing, Compass UK & Ireland, said, “We’re absolutely thrilled that Sonali has joined the team, it’s a bit of a coup securing her services with her wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for the coffee industry.

“It’s an exciting time for the Barista Academy and training is a priority for 2019. We want to deliver our customers great tasting coffee served by knowledgeable, experienced and friendly baristas, and we have no doubt Sonali will be fundamental in helping us achieve this goal.”

As well as mentoring the Master Barista group, Sonali will be developing new Compass barista training modules and running motivational engagement days. Sonali will also be putting together a team of coffee experts to compete in high-profile competitions such as the UK Barista Championships, Brewers Cup and Cup Tasters.

Sonali Tailor, Coffee Education and Training Manager – Central Marketing, Compass added, “Compass offers a unique proposition through its Master Barista Programme. Through the collaboration of suppliers, sponsors and the SCA this industry leading programme provides our baristas with the very best training available.

'The company matches my hunger and commitment to strive for continued improvement and growth. Compass is really leading the way, and I’m genuinely excited to be on board as we continue to raise the bar ever higher together.”

Tailor has already been involved in launching an enticing ‘Matcha Smackdown’ competition – in conjunction with SCA and Teapigs – which challenges Compass baristas to showcase their skills to win some great prizes.

The final will be held at the Compass Innovation Centre, Chertsey in March, a site which has recently been accredited as a Premier Training Campus by the SCA. This accreditation ensures the highest standards of coffee education within the industry, so it will be a double celebration and something that Compass is extremely proud to have achieved recognition for.