Roger Stephen was a teenager, a spendthrift and a self-proclaimed engineer – and when he got employed as a barista he found home
Amarchand was 21, a cashier at a local cinema - and when he found a job as a bursar – he found home
Augustine C.Fernandes was 40, a struggling, sole earning member of his 6-member family – and when he got hired to manage customers at a restaurant he finally found home.
Whether it is a frothy cappuccino with chocolate dusting, or an early riser toasted bagel with cream cheese and jam, or a juicy blackened grilled chicken sandwich or a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop a luscious brownie – Espresso Café, a household name in Karachi and Lahore, serves and masters it all.
A peep at the back end revealed an equally succulent story. 9 years ago when Roger, Amarchand and Fernandes joined Espresso – they found their social standing, they found their employer of choice and as they unanimously said “we found home sweet home”
After having completed his intermediate degree Roger left education and began fixing broken motorbikes and disc jockeying. The sole supporter of his mother, sister and 2 dogs he had little or no value for money. Through pure chance he found a job at Espresso as a barista and nine years later he is the Bar Manager of all the outlets in Karachi.
After spending long hours at the café and endlessly sipping coffee to check the correct temperature and taste Roger was sent to Dubai to further develop his interest in making and serving coffee.
“Espresso gave me the training to learn theory and apply my knowledge of coffee tastes and standards.” says Roger.
Working at Espresso has given Roger the ranking of a coffee connoisseur, taught him how to make fluffy omelets, and dress up fresh salads but most importantly stability in life that he lacked, experience that he required and a well-reputed PR across town, that he appreciates.
“Espresso has taught me how to earn money – I don’t think I can ever think of leaving this place although I know I can now work anywhere in the world” he says rather modestly.
Amarchand was a cashier at the Cineplex in Karachi when he was hired by Espresso as a bursar. Nine years later he is the Assistant Restaurant Manager at one of the busiest outlets of the café. One of the three sons of his family, Amarchand is supporting his old parents and young brother. He gives a lot of credit to his employers for developing, training and helping him throughout his career
“My salary, tips and loan from the restaurant all helped me to finance my brother’s education” he beams.
A familiar face, that often greets you when you step up at the café’ claims that he has undergone a lot of training from his employers at handling issues both at the front and back end of the restaurant. From tidying up crumbs off the table to now the Assistant Restaurant Manager, Amarchand has commendably climbed up the career ladder – only through sheer hard work and commitment.
An enthusiastic and diligent worker, he has sound knowledge about his team, peers and the clients that he receives.
When asked to name one valuable advantage of working at Espresso, he immediately replied, “I love the teamwork at the restaurant, and the customers who recognize us, value us and praise us.”
Being in the hotel industry for over 29 years, Fernandes was desperately trying to support his two young children, a mother and sister and his ill wife. Having worked in Dubai for several years he was picked up by Espresso nine years ago and is now a permanent fixture at the café’. A reliable and trustworthy face, who is sought out by all the loyalists of Espresso. He is an expert at handling happy and not-so-happy customers.
“The customer is the king for me…they are our bread and butter, we cannot let them leave the restaurant unhappy”
Talking of households – Espresso has been my pit stop since the last 5 weeks while I was trying to get my house up and holding. A finicky coffee drinker – the baristas managed to get me my bespoke caffeine shot –, which we collectively named as “Mocha Macchiato”. A faint hint of chocolate, deep amber espresso shot, and ice cubes, steaming skinny milk and a billowy froth on top – presenting to you
Whilst Espresso gave the above three and many more of there likes stability, money and eventually recognition I think it has been Roger, Amarchand, Fernandes and their colleagues who have successfully made Espresso a household name – with their expertise, knowledge, service and smiling faces.