Meet Bessie, Sales Account Manager.
Tell us about your journey to Padre.
It was kind of all by accident, really! My Padre journey started in October 2013 at our Brunswick East store. I’d completed a semester of a post-graduate nursing course at the start of that year, inspired to enrol by my mum passing away in late 2011. But I wasn’t sure that nursing was for me, I was also struggling to study full time and earn a living. So I deferred and went overseas for a month.
When I came back to Melbourne I was in dire need of some income (laughs) and Padre had advertised roles at both South Melbourne and Brunswick East. I had been working in cafés for nearly a decade by that point, but I’d never worked with Specialty before. I knew of Padre from working previously at a café in South Melbourne – I was working there when the Padre store opened at the market and I remember there being a lot of buzz about that, and about Specialty coffee in general. So I knew of the company and I had the distinct feeling I wanted to work with them.
I got offered a full-time role at Brunswick East, and worked there for about eight months or so. Then one afternoon, I hopped off my bike after riding home from work and had a missed call from (Padre Founder) Marinus. I kinda nervously called him back, being none the wiser about why he was calling and to my surprise, he offered me a job within the wholesale team. It was really a bit of a dream come true.
The rest, as they say, is history! My role has changed a fair bit over the years; I’m now one of the longest serving employees. Everyone here gets to evolve and grow alongside the business, which is the really beautiful thing about working at Padre. It really is like family.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role at Padre?
I’d have to say it’s all about the people – both customers and colleagues. The most special part of my role is getting to be heavily involved with our wholesale customers and watching them achieve their dreams. I’ll never tire of watching a business grow from the tiniest idea into a thriving success and getting to share in the joy that brings.
Secondly, getting to be a part of my colleagues’ journeys and stories is something that I cherish. I’ve worked with so many amazing and inspiring people here over the years, and it’s wonderful to see people grow and learn. There’s something special about a tight-knit hospitality team and we’re lucky that that vibe translates into the wholesale team.
Three apps you can’t live without...
Instagram, because I’m sadly addicted. Probably the weather app – which really dictates my fashion decisions. I’m also into this game at the moment, it’s called Picture Cross. I love a good puzzle!
Advice you would give to your 18 year old self...
I’d say probably to not sweat the small stuff, to lighten up and enjoy the moment. I think Mum passing away really changed that side of me; I live much more for the moment now. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so I try to appreciate the little things and show everyone around me that I love them.
Favourite travel experience so far...
Gosh, there are so many. Cambodia holds a really special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to get back to New York. But probably the most special recently was getting to visit and stay with Will and Di and their dog babies in Paris last year. They are the founders of Hardware Société, with cafes here in Melbourne and Paris, and they’ve been customers of Padre since before I was a Padre! It was just wonderful to be welcomed into their home and lives – they are so generous and really looked after me.
I’m also super excited to be holidaying in the Philippines in just a couple of weeks. My girlfriend Jay was born in Manila and still has heaps of family there, and we’re going with a bunch of friends and family from Melbourne, so it’s going to be an extremely special and fun trip.
Ideal Sunday a.m to p.m....
It would definitely start with a late wake up. I’ve always been keen on lots of sleep and sleep ins just don’t happen frequently enough anymore. After that, a wander with Jay and Monster (her dog) to get a coffee somewhere. Believe it or not, I rarely make coffee at home! I love to go out for a late lunch over a couple of wines or spend a lazy afternoon at home cooking. I like having leftovers prepared for work lunches, and feeling ready for the week ahead. Netflix and then early to bed…
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