A day in my working life, an occasional series providing an insight into how entrepreneurs spend a typical working day. This week, Jeremy Torz from Union Hand –Roasted Coffee.
I am the co-founder of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee an artisan coffee producer and roaster. My partner Steven and I pioneered Union Direct Trade a ‘trade-not-aid’ way of linking sustainability with exceptional quality coffee.
6:00: I am woken by my two pointers who clamour for attention until I get up and take them for an hour-long walk. It’s a great chance to collect my thoughts for the day ahead.
7:15: Breakfast is an Aeropress coffee and a slice of toast, and gives me the chance to review all overnight emails.
9:00: I leave the house, having avoided the M11 traffic. In the car I use hands-free to catch up with key people such as our commercial director Ben.
10:00: I arrive in the office. We’re still small enough a team at Union Coffee to have a modest open plan office above the roastery, so I spend 30 minutes saying “hi” to the team and giving them a chance to share updates or ask me questions.
10:30: I spend the rest of the morning assisting my team, responding to emails and working on propositions and proposals.
13:00: I eat lunch late as I find that I am more productive when I am a little hungrier. We’re not near a high-street, so lunch is usually announced to the office by the sound of the sandwich truck’s horn.
14:00: I catch up with Rudy who’s our quality assurance manager. We’ve got a new batch of green, unroasted coffee in from Rwanda to sample, so we do a ‘cupping’ which is the professional way to taste coffee. We also check the quality of all of the previous day’s roasts.
15:15: If my partner Steven is travelling in an origin country, which he does a great deal of the time, we will try to have a catch up over Skype – provided he’s somewhere with an internet connection. While we don’t often travel together, we did recently go on a trip to Ethiopia together, a rare treat that ensures we have both community development as well as the commercial issues covered.
16:00: I’ll spend some time on the phone to Pascale who manages our Union Direct Trade Programme. She lives in El Salvador and Panama, and is the front-line in building and maintaining relationships with our producers, ensuring they’re getting a fair deal, while giving us access to the best quality coffees available.
17:00: Home time on a usual day, but today we’re hosting an event at the roastery for our customers, including coffee shops, retailers and restaurants. As well as a latte art competition, we’ve borrowed a San Remo Opera coffee machine which is at the forefront of coffee technology. We host these events regularly and they give me and my team an amazing opportunity to get to know our customers better, and to share our expertise on the coffees we currently have available.
20:10: I’m home later than usual, and the dogs have already been walked, so I have a quick dinner and then unwind with a glass of wine or a single malt – a pleasure of mine second only to coffee.
21:00: I sometimes review emails again to make sure I’ve got a clear head for tomorrow, but then I strictly turn off my devices
22:00: I’m a bit of a news junkie, so I watch the BBC News at Ten and then Newsnight.
23:15: Time for bed, and a new set of challenges to tackle tomorrow.
For more information please visit www.unionroasted.com