Acorns 2018: Kit Wilkins-Smith, head of coffee excellence, Paddy & Scott's

01 June 2018 by
Acorns 2018: Kit Wilkins-Smith, head of coffee excellence, Paddy & Scott's

Head of coffee excellence, barista trainer and technician, Paddy & Scott's

Nominator Jon Reed, brand director

Proudest moment "Visiting Kenya last year to meet some of the people who pick and process our coffee and helping to give something back, such as providing running water and toilets at the local school."

Biggest inspiration "My father, Trevor Smith, who has worked so hard to get to where he is today and still managed to find time to help me progress. He always says to me: ‘The harder you work, the luckier you become'."

Ambition "I am in love with the coffee industry, so would like to run my own coffee business. For now, I enjoy running barista training sessions."

A self-confessed ‘coffee saddo', Kit Wilkins-Smith has inspired more than 2,000 baristas to make great cups of coffee since joining Paddy & Scott's in 2015. As well as being a quality guru, his conscientious approach has instigated operational changes and improved profitability. To talk statistics, his training division is now a core revenue stream, growing by 244% in 12 months. Overall, he boosted coffee revenue by 23% year-on-year and achieved 90% repeat business and retention.

He is also one of a select few qualified Speciality Coffee Association professionals in the east region and has worked with customers to revolutionise their coffee offer and sales. In one venue he helped nudge sales from £2,000 a day to reach a record £10,000 in one day.

His YouTube activities have gathered 16,000 subscribers compared with Costa Coffee's 6,000, and he has become a cult hero for his latte art and coffee training online, with 20,000,000 minutes viewed.

He's also revealed a creative side, being key in the development of the company's Nitro Cold Brew, a sugar-free energy drink being launched later this year.

Perhaps best of all, Wilkins-Smith is a visionary. He has taken an active role in establishing the company's own coffee farm in Kenya and helped to build a school for the farmer's families.

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