Meet our 2016 Scholarship Winner

Elika Rowell is the Head Roaster at Square One Coffee Roasters, with 13 years of hospitality experience, nine dedicated to the art of roasting and serving specialist coffee.

Her Square One responsibilities include the professional evaluating of coffee quality, brand identity and packaging, green bean purchasing, forecasting and budget management, as well as the day to day runnings of the roastery.

At just 28 years old, Rowell’s coffee knowledge is unprecedented. Her opinions have been published in mainstream media outlets The Age Good Food, Herald Sun and Broadsheet and she holds a Q Grader from the Coffee Quality Institute. Rowell is also a certified judge for both the AASCA Barista and Brewers Cup Championships.

Rowell’s most notable career achievement (to date) was her role as Head Barista at Top Paddock, a coveted, yet demanding position she excelled in over four years.  Rowell was instrumental in all aspects of Top Paddock’s opening, and an estimated 170kgs of high quality coffee were served weekly between January 2012 to June 2015, under her savvy management.

Her innate passion for speciality coffee was fdiscovered in 2008 when Rowell secured her first role as a barista at Three Bags Full Café. In this role Rowell also met her now Square One colleagues, Nathan Toleman, Ben Clark, Diamond Rozakeas and Sam Slattery

Rowell then went on to secure her a managerial position in 2010 at Seven Seed’s CBD café Brother Baba Budan, which she held for two years and became the spring board for her promotion to Head Barista at Top Paddock in 2012.

In May of this year, Rowell applied for the Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship. Her profound coffee expertise, sharp leadership skills, coupled with an ambition to lead, saw her win the Scholarship on Monday June 6 at an Industry Awards night held by Melbourne Food and Wine and Hostplus.

Rowell’s success stems from a desire to provide truly hospitable experiences – in any industry or environment -  while maintaining sustainable and ethical business practices.

Her unique sensitivity to a customer’s experience and a strive to serve beautiful product from sustainable produce makes Elika Rowell a true rising star of Australia’s hospitality industry.

Find out where Elika prefers to get her coffee fix in Melbourne.

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