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Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Speciality coffee roaster expands team by a third as growth continues

Shrewsbury-based speciality coffee roaster, Iron & Fire, has made three senior appointments to support its continued growth across both its trade and direct to consumer customer bases.

Mark Brookes, Sophie Cowdell, Mark Shore & Joanna De Rycke
Mark Brookes, Sophie Cowdell, Mark Shore & Joanna De Rycke

The latest round of recruitment equates to an increase in headcount of a third.

Founded in 2014, Iron & Fire has established itself as a firm favourite amongst independent coffee shops, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses the length and breadth of the UK and since the pandemic, its direct-to-consumer business has more than tripled. It now has its sights on further growth in the coming year of 300% across its trade business, making a stronger team necessary.

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Joanna De Rycke, Director at Iron & Fire, comments: “Iron & Fire has always been a team of people prepared to roll their sleeves up and muck in; there are no ivory towers here. However, to continue growing with the momentum that we’ve enjoyed in recent years, we need to invest in the very best talent and bolster that team.”

Mark Shore has joined Iron & Fire as Finance Manager with a remit to drive greater efficiencies in the team’s accounting management systems, especially as business driven via e-commerce continues to grow.

He comments: “Iron & Fire has enjoyed – and continues to enjoy – phenomenal growth and I’m honoured to have been brought in to support this. My background has largely been with businesses focused on ‘high value, low volume’ transactions, so it’s interesting to take that experience and utilise it in a ‘lower value, higher volume’ scenario where e-commerce drives so many transactions.

“This is my first foray into the world of coffee, so it’s been fascinating to learn about the nuances of the industry and doing so in an environment that continually smells so delicious is an added bonus. Joanna and Kev are truly passionate about every aspect of Iron & Fire and that passion is infectious, so I look forward to growing the business alongside them.”

Mark Brookes, meanwhile, joins to head up business development with a view to expanding Iron & Fire’s footprint amongst larger hospitality venues and national brands. With a 20-year background in business development, Mark’s experience covers large national accounts, as well as independent businesses in the coffee industry.

Sophie Cowdell has joined most recently as Assistant Roastery Manager and will be responsible for overseeing order fulfilment and supporting the Roastery Manager. She has a proven passion for coffee having worked in the industry for almost 10 years and her efficiency, friendly manner and focus on customer services all make her a great fit for the team at Iron & Fire.

Joanna concludes: “As a business born out of a personal love of coffee, it’s imperative that we build our team with like-minded individuals so whether that’s prior experience in the speciality coffee sector, a sound grasp of working in a growing business, or just a passion for a great roast, we’re always on the look-out for genuine talent to join us.

“Combined, Mark, Mark and Sophie have added to our team not only with professional expertise and specific skills that will support us as we continue to grow, but also with enthusiasm for what we’re working towards and that’s vital: without a strong team, growth would be so much more challenging.”

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