To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re telling the compelling stories of the trail-blazing women working in and around the world of coffee.
Celeste Wong is a writer, actress and influencer – producing and curating social media content as well as consulting for cafes, lifestyle brands and publications. Her own lifestyle and coffee blog ‘The Girl in the Cafe’ has attracted many dedicated fans, with over 13,000 followers on Instagram.
New Zealand born Celeste has a long-standing love affair with coffee. She’s held top positions in leading artisan cafes all over the world for well over a decade. Since migrating to the UK, Celeste has been listed as one of London’s top five baristas in the Financial Times. She even has her own ‘The Girl in the Cafe’ brand of coffee beans, which can be found in the cafes, offices and homes of those who enjoy great coffee as much as she does.
Agnieszka Rojewska is a world renowned professional barista and the first female World Barista Champion. The coveted accolade, however, only came about after years of hard work and dedication to the industry that she’s so passionate about.
Agnieszka has been breaking boundaries and winning national barista championships since 2014. A four time national champion, it was only a matter of time before she took the further step of being crowned World Barista Champion in Amsterdam in 2018. Aga, as she prefers to be known, continues to work within the specialty coffee community, encouraging and inspiring other women to emulate her success. She’s coffee royalty and a wonderful advocate for the whole industry.
Reiko Kaneko is a ceramicist and educator who focuses on mastery of material and form, designing products for manufacture as well as unique commissioned pieces. Specialising in fine bone china, the Central Saint Martin’s graduate later drew inspiration from the renowned pottery workers of Stoke-on-Trent – their immense knowledge a pivotal influence in the scaling-up of her practice.
Reiko’s melding of a modern design aesthetic with traditional techniques has earned her loyal fans – she’s been making bespoke tableware for Heston Blumenthal’s ‘The Fat Duck’ for over 10 years and limited edition bottles for Cognac-based Audemus Spirits since 2016. She’s a passionate advocate of creativity and, like many of her generation, feels now is the time to affect change.
Kate Nicholls, OBE, has been CEO of UKHospitality since its inception in 2018. The organisation is a powerful voice in the hospitality sector, positively championing the interests of the businesses that they represent. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that Kate’s enthusiasm for an industry that she’s known and loved for many years, proved indispensable.
Her tireless lobbying was a crucial factor in securing the financial support that the hospitality industry so desperately needed. She was a true leader to everyone in the sector. Kate’s 2021 appointment by the UK government as the hospitality sector’s Disability Ambassador signals a shift to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world – which is particularly apt as International Women’s Day launches its 2022 theme: #BreakTheBias.
She is a qualified Q Grader, World Barista Championships Technical Judge, World Brewers Cup Sensory Judge and UK Barista Championships Head Judge. But without her entrepreneurial skill, Modern Standard would not exist, and without the support of numerous people who have helped along the way, Modern Standard wouldn’t be what it is today. £1 from every bag sold of our IWD coffee will be donated to Women's Aid, helping end domestic violence against women and children