Some guys get coffee, and then there’s Keith. Handling Plain Sight’s wholesale and training sides, he’s seen and been on both sides of the coffee business as both a supplier and the supplied. “I used to run a café in Katipunan before joining Plain Sight”, shares Keith. Opening that café in Katipunan paved the way for him to jump into the coffee business, but also meet some new friends along the way, one of them being co-founder Sean Lee.
“I was introduced to Sean from when I was just starting my coffee journey, and Plain Sight was one of my first coffee suppliers when I started my café. After a few years in, Sean and I were able to have a talk and he asked if I wanted to handle the training for the company and I've been with the company ever since”.
Although originally not a coffee drinker, a chance visit to a specialty café in 2014 opened him up to the wonders of specialty coffee. Not having any particular expectations, he grabbed himself a Gibraltar and a cup of single origin, and from that moment on, he was hooked. It wasn’t long after that Keith went from cafe hopper to coffee student, then later on as a café owner before joining Plain Sight as its trainer, with the added responsibilities of managing the wholesale business coming not long after.
The training aspect was one that Plain Sight really wanted to get down pat, and the decision to have Keith handle it was not out of the blue. Apart from the experience of making coffee, he had also studied it and even taught barista training courses.
Running a café gave him that shared experience he could have with trainees and clients about the day-to-day rigors of preparing to open up shop, from the choice of café equipment, barista training, and coffee preparation.
It also provided him an opportunity to help guide café owners to ensuring they serve the absolute best possible coffee they can, while training baristas to manage efficiencies in the preparation.
Out of our entire team, Keith may be in the best position to really share what he knows to help aspiring café owners set up shop. Having run a café himself, he’s found that sweet spot of not only helping café owners serve great coffee, but also ensuring that the business grows along the way.
“…talking to clients and introducing them to specialty coffee has been one of my great joys working with the company. Seeing them grow their business along the way and being part of that journey is very fulfilling”.
|People in Plain Sight is our series profiling and introducing our team who brings specialty coffee to you.
Words by Ryan Uy