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 20.
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!
Complex, with notes of umami and a zippy acidity; Miles joined IKAWA to open our US office in Los Angeles, and help the business create a foothold across the pond.
She brings a wealth of speciality coffee knowledge (note how we’re maintaining the second i in speciality), most recently working as Director of Education at Royal Coffee New York, and previously Production and Roasting Manager at Allegro, and Roaster at Blue Bottle.
We’re delighted she’s part of the team, and it’s a pure bonus that we’ll have to spend time in LA – we’ll also be making the most of sharing roast profiles and doing calibrated cross-Atlantic cuppings!
Before joining IKAWA, Danielle made coffee for the Queen (yes really – ask her about it!). Her time in the Royal Household was precluded with a life that would naturally lead her end up working with coffee.
Danielle has an Italian heritage and was born in Brazil. To add to her coffee-centric background, her husband Fabio was a relatively early IKAWA Sample Roaster customer, using it for his coffee company Notes.
In her spare time, Danielle is a lover of great food and a chocolate maker.
Matyas is a multilingual world traveler having lived and worked on 3 different continents. He has spent time in Washington, DC, Brazil, and Europe. He’s a portrait artist, sports fan and now a coffee lover. His family owned and operated a successful cafe restaurant back home in Hungary where Matyas first learned to make and serve coffee.
Recently, Matyas has been keen to learn even more and has begun to tumble down the coffee rabbit hole. Currently his favourite coffee is from Kenya!
As IKAWA has grown, so has our need for a Purchasing Manager to look after our network of suppliers making all the various custom parts for IKAWA roasters.
Christine brings a wealth of experience having worked in purchasing across many different sectors, and was most recently Purchasing Manager for a start-up inventing and manufacturing intelligent air quality sensing systems so is familiar with challenges and opportunities of a growing business.
Like many of the most useful things in the IKAWA office, Fredy has come from Amazon.
Jokes aside, his experience working for Amazon and as an Operations Manager is a massive asset to our growing workshop team in it’s prime, and will help us to build our manufacturing and operations capabilities, systems and processes.
While Fredy is new to the roasting side of coffee, he comes from a coffee region of Colombia and is already in training to win the next company Latte Art competition.
Geoff first encountered IKAWA before most of us, meeting Rombout at SCAA about five years ago, and became an IKAWA customer this year in his previous role as Director of Coffee for DETOUR, one of Canada’s top speciality roasters. Try his ‘go-to’ sample roasting profile here. (link URL)
“Coffee is a bit of a rabbit hole” Geoff told us when discussing quality coffee. It’s one he’s dived in deep, which is great because Geoff is in charge of educating our customers on the finer points of coffee.
Beyond coffee, you’ll find Geoff playing squash, exploring his new home city London, searching out the best ramen, and appreciating our relatively milder climate!
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.
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.
Emma has always been drawn to creating products. She has run a business refurbishing furniture, studied Furniture and Product Design and runs her own business on the side designing and making giftware.
After a small stint in Newfoundland, Canada where she once opened a door to snow piled as high as she is tall, she’s back in London helping the production team make the IKAWA.
Fabio works with the production team that builds each roaster in our workshop in London. He was born in São Paulo, Brazil where he has fond memories of helping his mom roast and brew fresh coffee in the kitchen.
Fabio’s passion for coffee drew him from the kitchen, where he was working as a chef, to Lighthaus cafe and now to us where he hopes to continue learning even more about the world of coffee.
In his spare time he’s a lover of travelling and enjoying London’s many beautiful parks with friends.
Lydia joined IKAWA as a Production Technician, coming from the world of prop production and finance.
Lydia enjoys working with her hands and creating. She also loves coffee and so IKAWA has been a natural choice where she is part of the incredible team that builds each roaster in London, UK. When not working you may find her at a music gig or walking around town taking photographs with a camera in one hand and a coffee in the other.
We have welcomed George back into a full time position after his 3 month internship with IKAWA last year. While studying engineering, George was part of the team that created the bike that holds the current human powered British land speed record!
When not working with production and R&D at IKAWA, George is a bit of a chef, making fresh and local meals at home. He even takes the time to forage and grow his own food!
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.
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 College 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.