MEET THE TEAM
It’s people that make a company.
As we grow we’re always on the lookout for great people to join the team.
See which roles we’re recruiting for here
Andrew grew up in coffee growing countries including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Burundi.
Andrew is an engineer and industrial designer, and developed the concept for IKAWA while studying Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art in London. He’s dedicated years of toil to making IKAWA a reality.
As the team has grown, his “Kaizen” approach to design and manufacturing has helped not only to build hundreds of coffee roasters, but to harness, build and refine the skills of the workshop team.
Ben joined as Managing Director in 2015 and has overseen a period of strong growth since then, seeing IKAWA move to our current workshop, and the team growing from 4 to 12.
In return, IKAWA has helped Ben to become more cultured in coffee and he now possesses a decent grinder, espresso machine and aeropress. And a Home Coffee Roaster.
He has previously worked in senior management in the travel industry and founded start-ups in architecture, sports travel and tech, and has a fantastic ability to get excited about the big picture and delve into great detail.
Alex joined IKAWA to manage a short project – IKAWA’s Kickstarter Campaign for the IKAWA At Home system – but quickly realised the project really starts when the campaign finishes. He has enjoyed the ride of delivering our Home Coffee Roaster, as well as marketing the Sample Roaster and drinking some fantastic coffees along the way.
Before joining IKAWA, Alex worked for UK coffee brand Cafédirect and founded Espresso Mushroom Company, which he runs in his ‘spare time’.
He was a finalist for IGD Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.
Bradley joined IKAWA in 2015 to head up our Sales and Business Development team and has the perfect niche combining his love of coffee with application of start-up business theory, particularly anything Seth Godin.
He is a qualified UKBC judge and in charge of keeping the team in good coffee. His choice of brewing equipment in the office reflects the growth we’ve achieved – moving from a 3-cup to 6-cup Chemex, through a Technovorm Moccamaster, and we now have a Wilfa Svart and a Linea Mini. He’s doing a good job!
Jess has a Degree in Culinary Arts Management and has worked around the world in Media and Hospitality, including co-founding The Clocktower Café in London before joining IKAWA for a ‘more quiet’ working life.
That’s not quite been the case – she’s excelled from Office Manager to become our Head of Operations and basically running the show. When she goes on maternity leave we’ll be replacing her with 4 new roles.
Tony grew up in the highlands and coffee producing region of Panama. Tony has a family background of over 100 years in coffee production, it’s in his DNA!
Tony has experienced the frustration many of our customers faced, having previously worked in the Quality Control of a roastery in Taiwan where he was responsible for sample roasting on a daily basis. Now he benefits from that graft, and is our in-house roast profile expert.
Before joining IKAWA Tony completed his Masters from the London School of Economics in Public Policy and International Migration. Tony is an avid traveller, multi-linguist, and despite being from Panama, he says he loves working in London and the weather isn’t as bad as people say!
Gabor comes from Hungary, where he studied in Budapest. Before joining IKAWA he was a barista at Alchemy Coffee and, like many aspiring baristas, is now in the roaster side of the industry!
In the workshop, he tends to be in charge of the music, with eclectic tastes that keep the team happy.
Nathan grew up in Northern Ireland where he became an experienced Barista and co-founded the Town Square coffee shop in Belfast.
In 2016 he became the Northern Ireland AeroPress champion, but making the perfect cup of coffee wasn’t the only thing Nathan did last year. Before joining IKAWA in London, he travelled to Iran where he produced and co-directed the BBC documentary ‘Ongoing Home’.
Lorenzo worked in his hometown Milan as a sound engineer in post-production for 10 years.
After moving to London, he pursued his love of coffee and worked as a barista in cafés across the city including Notes cafe. He has now combined his professional skills and works in our workshop building and testing IKAWA roasters.
Sam loves watching The Notebook and taking long walks along the beach at sunset. When not doing that, he takes pleasure in helping customers to get the best from their IKAWAs and is the friendly face on the other end of our support@ inbox.
Luckily, Sam knows a thing or two about coffee (as most Antipodeans in London seem to) – before joining IKAWA he co-opened Tuckshop Café, and became Head Technician at Origin Coffee, working closely with La Marzocco.
We’ve been saying for a while that we could do with a second Jess as she’s so busy, and we were lucky enough to find one. Jess B has been helping the team with everything from preparing for trade shows, roasting coffee, booking accommodation and flights and keeping the team in check – so is following in Jess G’s footsteps…
Jess B also helps to keep the team in shape, she’s a professionally trained dancer and determined to get the team up on their feet for an early morning stretch! She starred as hand-model in IKAWA’s latest video.
Suita grew up in Honduras around a coffee farm that has been in the family for generations.
After graduating with a Masters in Business and Marketing, she completed an internship with us managing our coffee selection process for the IKAWA At Home range, and trying (in vein) to improve the Spanish of the team.
She’s currently back in Honduras from where she’s been helping us on a range of projects.
Managing Director of Schuter SA a coffee trading company specialising in East African speciality coffee. Phil was a founding member of Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and while based in Liverpool, works all over the world.
Phil has been involved with IKAWA from our early days and his knowledge of the coffee sector – and using IKAWA roasters across the business – has been invaluable.
Chris brings a wealth of experience from the manufacturing sector to his role as Finance Director on the IKAWA board.
During Chris’ career, he’s been Technical Manager, General Manager and Finance Director of RPC Group PLC which is now a global design and engineering company with centres of excellence worldwide and a turnover in excess of £2bn following floatation which he oversaw in 1993.
Founder, CTO and Chairman
As a co-founder of IKAWA, Rombout joined forces with Andrew in the early days at the Royal College of Art, after previously studying at Stanford University and Imperial Collage London.
He now works independently as an award winning designer, engineer and researcher, and loves to develop new experiences that unleash unused human potential. Rombout has worked with Siemens, Merck and Proctor & Gamble and directed one of Philips’ open labs in Eindhoven where he’s based.
Andrew’s career has been based at Deloitte where he’s worked and lived in London, Birmingham, Melbourne and Paris. His roles include Partner, Vice Chairman, Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions; Transaction Services and European and UK Head of Mergers and Acquisitions.
Since his retirement, he and former colleagues have invested in a number of young developing businesses – and IKAWA is fortunate to benefit from his wisdom.