16 August 2016

She left her job, competed in barista challenge, and won

Fortune favours the prepared so goes the saying. When Sheila Tusiime enrolled for a coffee barista challenge, she started seriously thinking of getting back in business. Her boutique business had just collapsed.
She always bought newspapers to search for opportunities. One day, she saw an advert about a coffee barista challenge. She applied, was shortlisted for a training, and thereafter placed for internship at 1000 Cups, a coffee shop in the city and then at Prunes, an eatery in Kololo.
After some time, Tusiime left her job, and was at home as she pondered her next move. She had saved some money from her salary.

Boosted her confidence
The initial idea was to start a mobile money business but on second thought, she decided that starting a coffee shop would earn her better income.The training had opened her up to opportunities in the coffee sector.
Without enough money but a dream, the 25-year-old started scouting for a place where she would set up a coffee shop.
Tusiime was confident that she would be among winners in the challenge. That hope boosted her confidence.
She finally located a space within an established restaurant in Kireka.
And things got better. On Monday afternoon, August 15, Tusiime was announced winner of the barista challenge during a graduation event for coffee baristas, who had completed a training.

Planning is vital
Star Café partnered with Usaid Feed the Future Commodity Production and Marketing Activity (CPM), and Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) to make the training possible.
Tusiime scored 126 points to beat off competition from 40 contenders. She won a cash prize of Shs1.5m.
“Respect is useful as part of your marketing. Financial planning is important. Acknowledge when you make a loss but importantly, you need to save. Know and plan when to buy coffee,” advised Hannington Karuhanga of Savannah Commodities, who is also UCDA board chairman.
In his speech, he promised to give 20 kilos of coffee to each of the graduating baristas.
So, in the end, everyone was a winner but it is double happiness for the graduate of Uganda College of Commerce in Kabale.
“I made my cappuccinos right and I knew I would win,” an elated Tusiime said as she got hugs and congratulatory messages from her colleagues.

More rewards
The runners up in the challenge were Abdullah Sebaale who was second, and Emmanuel Olum, who came third. They won Shs1m each.
The judges looked out for flavour, test and standard temperature.
Star Café gave mobile coffee kiosks to 15 of the 40 coffee baristas who graduated. These were identified as the top 15 best performers from the training.
The purpose is a means of increasing youth employment and domestic coffee consumption in Uganda.

Passion and innovation
Earlier, there was a showcase of skills by baristas who, in 15 minutes, prepared and served coffee to guests.
The event included first-hand personal stories from guest speakers to inspire the young graduates. These include Gerald Katabazi, one of the pioneer coffee baristas, and Amos Wekesa, the managing director, Great Lakes Safaris.
In her remarks to close the ceremony, state minister for gender and culture Peace Mutuuzo, who represented the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, implored youth to be driven by passion and innovation in their enterprises.



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