June 3, 2021
Remaining online for the Club’s 2021 AGM, the conference celebrated this season’s committee and members for hosting a share of memorable virtual events throughout
Leo Hector, from Ladybank, landed a job at social enterprise We Are Zest Café in St Andrews after impressing on an eight-week post-college work experience placement during which he gained more control over his anxiety. The self-funding ethical café provides training and paid work for people with additional support needs to help them learn valuable work skills and maintain or achieve employment.
Leo developed a passion for coffee after learning more about it from owner Lisa Cathro, who’s a member of St Andrews Business Club. After he set himself a career goal to become a green coffee buyer, Lisa suggested he go to Ethiopia to learn further on one of the coffee tours organised by her friend Joost Leopold, a Speciality Coffee Association trainer and coffee expert.
So, in September, Leo set about organising the 10-day trip after he got the backing of his parents. The group set off on October 27 and after, arriving in Addis Ababa, they spent a day visiting coffee related places including the Ethiopian coffee exchange (ECX) – the Government market place where coffee is traded nationally and internationally.
They later visited a centre where the beans are graded, a storage facility, plantations and got to pick coffee cherries. Leo even got a pat on the shoulder from a farmer – which means he picked well! The group also visited Mankira forest, the location where the first coffee tree was found, and sampled different varieties. Leo and the group also learned about the financial side of buying and exporting.
“For someone who wants to be in this industry, the trip was very beneficial,” says Leo. “This trip has given me more understanding of coffee processing and lots more on the economics of coffee trading.
“I’m going to continue developing my coffee knowledge and gaining more experience, so I can find a job where I can increase my portfolio and get a foothold in the industry.
“I’m so grateful to Lisa for giving me that opportunity! Lisa is someone who will help to get you where you want to be. She’s made me believe in myself and my capabilities to go forward in life and for that I’m truly thankful.”
“Putting the coffee aside, I learned that I can’t take anything for granted because we can get what we want when we want it but Ethiopian people can’t. Seeing it first-hand has changed my outlook on life – not to take things for granted and to appreciate everything I have.
“One of the highlights for me was visiting a wild coffee plantation which grows in the cloud forests in Kaffa. It was stunning and just listening to the owner talk so enthusiastically about how coffee should be grown and how people should respect the coffee more was inspiring.”
Lisa Cathro says: “The whole Zest team are really proud of Leo for pursuing his goals and pushing himself to keep learning and developing. I have no doubt Leo will get to where he wants to be career-wise and we’re happy to have played a part in his journey.”
Joost Leopold said: “Leo shared a great interest in the coffee trade. Maybe one day in future he will be a green coffee buyer. Leo showed lots of enthusiasm during the trip and it was obvious that this experience was a crucial step for him.”
For more about We Are Zest, go to http://wearezest.co.uk
In the event, to be held at the Old Course Hotel from 5.30pm, Gordon Mole, Chief Officer, Business and Employability, at Fife Council and Professor Brad MacKay, Vice-Principal, International, Strategy and External Relations at University of St Andrews, will talk about what they believe 2019 will and may hold for St Andrews and North-East Fife which will affect businesses and for which they need to have a plan.
Gordon Mole is responsible for employability, economic development, economic policy, town centres and tourism and is the council’s business lead for Brexit. He has worked on economic development and employment initiatives for major construction programmes including London’s Shard of Glass, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Tate Modern, and as Employment and Brokerage Manager for Crossrail.
Prof MacKay is Professor of Strategy in the University of St Andrews School of Management and was appointed Vice-Principal, International Strategy and External Relations, in August 2017.
Prof MacKay’s responsibilities include oversight of the development of the university’s institutional strategy (2018-2023) for the post-Brexit era and development and management of practices and policies related to strategic relationships national and international including membership on a range of government and sector-wide committees and delegations
Anyone wishing to learn about this important business topic, as well as network, is asked to book via Eventbrite.
A full list of this season’s events can be found at http://bit.ly/StABCEvents.
Terry (69) started the business in 1983 with just two staff and one small, single-colour press after learning his trade over 18 years with the University of St Andrews Printing Department.
Over the years West Port’s reputation for quality fuelled its growth and in 1997 it bought its first full-colour press and was one of the first to offer a ‘while-you-wait’ colour copy service. Since then the business has expanded to a staff of 12 and continues to advance through embracing the latest technologies for its clients, many of which are prestigious locally-based brands such as the R&A, St Andrews Links Trust and the Old Course and Fairmont hotels.
For customers the story is ‘business as usual’ because the new owners are existing directors Stephen and Claire Simpson. Stephen, a Member of St Andrews Business Club, joined the firm in 1997 and became a director in 2008. He and Claire aim to continue the firm’s growth.
While they’re expanding its services, Terry plans to be hitting the fairways and travelling to Portugal with his wife Catherine (who used to help out in the shop on Saturday mornings) more often, where he enjoys golf, cycling and eating fresh fish by the sea. His retirement gift? What else but Auchterlonies vouchers!
Speaking about hanging up his printer’s apron, Terry said: “It has been a blast for 54 years. The changes in technology have been unbelievable!
“I must thank all my staff for their hard work and my customers for their loyal support over the years. I hope they’ll support Stephen and Claire just as much.”
Stephen Simpson said: “Terry’s legacy in building West Port Print & Design to the high standing it now enjoys now has to be acknowledged as a phenomenal achievement. Claire and I have a very hard act to follow, but we’re keen to build on the reputation we’re inheriting.”
For more information about West Port Print & Design, go to its website at www.westportprint.co.uk
It topped off a record year for the Club perfectly – with a new record attendance for an event!
Best wishes for the festive season to all our Members and the wonderful people who make St Andrews and North-East Fife the uniquely amazing place it is.
For more photos, go to the Album on our Facebook page.
Report & Pictures by ASM Media & PR
NEXT EVENT: The Club’s next event is January 16: North-East Fife 2019 when Gordon Mole of Fife Council and Prof Brad MacKay of the University of St Andrews will give their insights into the business environment next year, including the effects of Brexit and the Tay Cities Deal.