Curtis UK's new Business Development Manager Dominic Bankes has had a varied first couple of months settling right into his new role. His arrival to the company couldn't have had better timing, He was able to accompany Managing Director, Andrew Tucker, on a very special business trip to WIlbur Curtis HQ in California. This was an incredible opportunity to absorb the core essence of a company that has been perfecting the art of brewing since 1941... and the sunshine! Here's what Dom had to say about his trip:
What did you think of LA?
LA is a big place, everything is a half hour drive away. Having said that the final destination is always worth it. We tried to visit most places and have a look around. My favourite area had to be china town. We found a quirky little coffee shop called ‘Endorffiene’ serving some beautiful Scandinavian roasted coffee.
What were the Curtis Factories like in the US?
The Curtis factory is a spectacle. The staff are the number one priority. They get all the perks they want to ensure they’re happy in their job. It’s a Colossal operation and we saw first-hand that they invest back into production. They have everything from a laser to a $25,000 x-ray gun for ensuring every sheet of metal is medical grade! The focus on quality is something that really stood out.
Was your Curtis US experience everything your expected?
The Curtis US experience was far more than I expected. We spent time with all the key influencers and talked about the very exciting and imminent future of Curtis UK. Then they gave us a list of the best coffee shops in LA who all brewed us some amazing coffee. The coffee, conversation and of course the record breaking weather made it a very memorable experience.
What was the most exciting thing about your trip?
The most exciting thing was meeting the people who make the Curtis equipment. I was surprised to see how many female engineers where bossing it on the production line. Some of the staff have been in the Curtis factory perfecting their craft for 30-40 years. Others are given a chance to learn everything from the masters. The diversity In staff is inspirational and something we can be proud of.
How much coffee did you drink?
That’s a silly question, I don’t even like coffee…. Ok, we all know that’s a lie. I must have had 10 cups a day. Coffee is almost as easy to acquire as water in LA. Each corner shop and petrol station has a row of filter coffees on tap. The range of iced coffees and cold brew available in small retailers is beautiful. Then we went to some of the top coffee shops in LA and tried the specialty coffee scene. As a coffee lover, I wasn’t a fan of some of the commercial Gas station coffee but every now and again they surprise you with a delicate cup of fruity Kenyan coffee.
Did you learn anything from the US market that you can bring back here to the UK?
Yeah two words really stood out to us. ICED TEA! I’ve never really bothered with tea until the Curtis team in LA opened my eyes. We’re a tea drinking nation and in all honesty its delicious. I’ve tried so many different flavours and brew methods since landing back in the UK. You will certainly hear more on the matter from me!
Any exciting news to share with the UK market?
The Corinth is heading our way! We’ve has so many people come to us already asking about the Corinth. I can’t wait to show it off and get our first UK Corinth!
We have some possible iced tea revelations, that could be happening in the near future.
There’s a few more very exciting products about to go into production, we will be able to tell you more later this year and then some more in 2019…. I like to tease