Tinderbox Reflection by Zosia P., Head Girl

27th April 2023
Tinderbox Reflection by Zosia P., Head Girl

I recently had the amazing opportunity to shadow the Managing Director of Tinderbox – Carlo Ventisei, after winning an essay competition where I discussed the global coffee market.

I received a broad insight on his business and the management of people, finances, the impact of the COVID – 19 on supply, and the cost-of-living crisis on demand. I was informed about the long development process which Tinderbox had to go through before it could reach the successful levels which it is at today and the impact that well informed and strategic decisions can have on a firm.

The day started by visiting Tinderbox’s central kitchen where I discovered the methods behind meeting demand and how to deal with supply issues.

We then visited all 7 Tinderbox stores; it was interesting to see how unique each store was and how different the client base was depending on the location. Mr Ventisei cares a great deal about how each store is presented which is evident as each shop has a unique yet welcoming feel. Speaking to the store managers was insightful, comparing how each store has different customer bases who have varying needs and wants.

I was thrown into the kitchen to start the training process, where I learned the importance of staff discipline and the sense of belonging and community within a workplace, to achieve customer and employee satisfaction. The tight network of logistics, processes and fast paced work enlightened me to the diligence behind a cappuccino.

I had a lengthy conversation with Operations Manager - Liz Hamilton where we discussed business acumen and the steps taken to become a well-respected leader. I see myself in a management role in the future so I found this greatly beneficial.

I was very lucky to be able to visit Matthew Algie – Tinderbox’s coffee roster - where I was walked through the delicate roasting process and was educated on the flavour profiles of certain beans and their origin. In a coffee tasting session I was made aware of the methods of analysing the flavours of the different beans and the vast vocabulary used in the description of a singular bean.

Through many elaborate conversations with the Matthew Algie’s Director of Coffee, Quality and Sustainability – Dr Eduarda Cristovam, which allowed me to understand that it is impossible to be a rigid business especially in the constantly changing economic climate. The impacts the cost-of-living crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic has tested many firms and industries and have caused a need for change in traditional processes. Coffee can only be grown in a specific strip of the globe and with climate change, coffee growers are being forced to plant further up hills, this had made me aware of the long and complex history behind a cup of Joe.

I found this day invaluable and I am so grateful for the opportunity which has grown my skills and understanding of the inner workings of a company.