Foodservice Cateys 2016: Training Award

20 October 2016
Foodservice Cateys 2016: Training Award

Sponsored by Bridge Training & Events

Tim Sturk, BaxterStorey

Tim Sturk is fondly referred to as the ‘coffee guru' by his colleagues at BaxterStorey. His official job title is head of coffee training and development, a role he built for himself after initially being hired as BaxterStorey's first full-time training manager in 2007. He had no working knowledge of coffee and he openly admits to not even liking espresso-based coffee at that time.

But since then he has gone on to gain national and international recognition, having been instrumental in founding BaxterStorey's Barista Academy in 2008. Sturk's dedication has certainly paid off, with BaxterStorey being the only foodservice caterer to be represented at the finals of the UK Barista Championships four years running. The company achieved third and seventh place in 2015 and fourth, sixth and 10th in 2016.

From the start of the Barista Academy, Sturk decided to hold three-hour ‘appreciation of coffee' training sessions for managers, to ensure the enthusiasm of the baristas was not easily forgotten by the rest of the team. He knew that unless he trained beyond the barista and up the ranks through managers and operational managers, the training would not be absorbed and integrated throughout the business.

Sturk developed bespoke training materials based on fresh products, clean machinery, great milk and exceptional customer service. In addition to learning the mechanics of good coffee production, baristas also discover how to take ownership of their coffee bar and engage with customers.

Sturk offers his team SCAE Certification in Barista and Brewing skills (foundation, intermediate and professional levels), which has helped BaxterStorey increase its retention levels on this side of the business.

His work has not only benefited BaxterStorey, but also the wider coffee community in the UK, Europe and globally. Sturk is involved in the Speciality Coffee Associations of Europe and America, the International Coffee Organisation, Spring- board, Crisis Café, Change Please and Old Spike Roastery. He's also been invited to judge at several national and international barista competitions, including head judge for the World Barista Championships in Dublin.

He won the 2015 award for outstanding contribution to the European coffee industry at the European Coffee Symposium in Istanbul, for his education role with the SCAE.

BaxterStorey held its inaugural awards earlier this year to celebrate the talent of its workforce. Sturk was recognised for his contribution in developing the Barista Academy and his wider influence within the coffee industry.

What the judges said

"Tim has seen opportunity within the business, assessed what could be done and created a bespoke solution. This has become industry- leading and something no other individual has achieved. Tim has then strengthened his team by developing the future talent to take over from him."

Matt Symonds, Lusso

"A world-class trainer and ambassador for coffee with an in-depth understanding of training and development. A real star of the industry."

Professor David Foskett, University of West London


  • Gareth Billington Sodexo
  • Stuart Nisbet Elior UK
  • Tim Sturk BaxterStorey

Past winners

  • 2015 David Bridge & the food development team ISS Food & Hospitality
  • 2014 Graham Eveleigh BaxterStorey
  • 2013 SiewYen Chong Harbour & Jones

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