Brown Sugar barista claims customer service award

Brown Sugar Café barista and award recipient Lauren Beach. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Brown Sugar Café barista and award recipient Lauren Beach. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Brown Sugar Café barista Lauren Beach has been named as the latest recipient of the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Customer Service of the Month Award.

Miss Beach was nominated for the award for her stand-out customer service, despite having only worked at the café on Dempster Street for less than one year after being drawn in by the positive atmosphere.

"Coming in as a customer, it always looked like such a nice place to work," she said.

"I haven't always wanted to be a barista but it's something that I've picked up recently and really started to enjoy."

The young barista has since thrived in her new role, having even travelled to Perth earlier this year to participate in a special latte art course.

"The latte art is something that I picked up," she said.

"I learned a lot and I really enjoy it. The customers like it and it's nice to have it appreciated."

Despite being surprised by the nomination, Miss Beach said it felt nice for her work to be recognised by her customers.

"It feels nice to be recognised, definitely," she said.

"It's also nice to see returning faces, those regular customers.

"I get along really well with everyone here and we've all become really close friends.

"We're like a family and Lenore is a really good boss, too. It's been nice to have those relationships."

Brown Sugar Café barista Lauren Beach alongside business owner Lenore Wood. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Brown Sugar Café barista Lauren Beach alongside business owner Lenore Wood. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Miss Beach's sentiments were echoed by business owner Lenore Wood, who described her staff as 'like family' to her.

"All of the members of our team are fantastic," Miss Wood said.

"As Lauren has said, they have this really great bond now and catch up with each other outside of work.

"We're like a little family here."

Miss Wood took on the business just over 18 months ago, after having worked as the practice manager at a local accounting firm.

Driven by a lifelong desire to own her own business, Miss Wood took over from former cafe owners Mark Adamson and Gail Reynolds-Adamson.

"I had always wanted to own my own business," she said.

"I had been a practice manager for an accounting firm and I decided that, rather than helping people to run their business, I might have a crack at it myself.

"I came across Mark and Gail Adamson, who owned the shop, and I loved their outlook and business plan surround the native herbs and spices being used.

"I believed that I could build something around that, too."

Describing the last 18 months as an eye-opening experience, Miss Wood said she was grateful that the broader community could see just how positive a workplace the café is.

"It's been crazy," she said.

"It's definitely been eye-opening and a huge learning curve but we've enjoyed every minute of it. It's been great.

"It's really good that the wider community get a glimpse of that as well."

As a recipient of the monthly award, Miss Beach will now go into the running to win the Chamber's Customer Service of the Year Award.

Customers who wish to nominate an employee for exceptional customer service are encouraged to forward their full name and business to admin@esperancecci.com.au

Brown Sugar is a member of the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry.