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Meet Bessie Marks, Community Impact and Engagement, VIC

by Amanda Pantas February 08, 2021 3 min read

Bessie Marks,
Community Impact and Engagement, VIC 


Bessie started her journey with Padre Coffee in 2013, working full time at our Brunswick East Cafe. Having worked in cafés for nearly a decade prior, whilst studying at university, Bessie brought with her expertise in hospitality along with skills in critical thinking and communication.

She was excited to continue her love for hospitality within an engaged team of coffee professionals whilst building a community around her. This sense of community has always resonated with Bessie - at her core, she's passionate about people, and about fostering relationships. 

2014 saw Bessie inducted into the wholesale team, and in the following years, she progressed into sales and account management roles. Her passion for working with people and nurturing relationships was well and truly inflow - and there is no doubt, she's incredible at it! 

Now, Bessie can be found working on community and impact initiatives with Padre's network as she has recently pioneered a new role at Padre in Community Impact and Engagement.

Hard-working and devoted, Bessie is a core part of Padre's community and approaches every task with the highest level of care and quality. She is never one to shy from the crowd - she loves life and loves to laugh. Passionate, extremely fiery (in the best way possible) and an all-round honest human.

You can find Bessie enjoying downtime with her partner Jay and dog friend Monster, relishing Melbourne's incredible food scene with a glass of vino in hand, always living life to the fullest - that's our Bessie Marks. 


What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

The most inspiring part of my job has got to be the people I get to work with. We get to meet so many incredible people every day doing what we do. My gorgeous colleagues, every customer that comes into our stores, every wholesale partner, all our collaborators, every coffee producer - each and every one of them have incredible stories. 

The strength and resilience we witnessed within our community over the last 12 months was nothing short of inspirational. Being able to create connections between these people and getting to help tell their stories, that’s what gets me up every morning and keeps me excited about coming to work.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021?

In my eyes, the most exciting thing happening this year is the opening of our new Collingwood Yards store. Collingwood Yards is home to such a creative, diverse group of tenants, who are all so engaged in the community there. We’re so looking forward to meeting the other tenants and the locals of Collingwood, and learning about all the cool projects everyone is working on and helping where we can.

We’re foreseeing the new venue as embodying the idea of a traditional coffeehouse: a communal place to meet, talk, create and collaborate. It’s also the perfect place to hold events, and we’re lucky enough that our space abuts the beautiful public courtyard at Collingwood Yards.

What three words would you use to describe your role?

First up, I’d have to say passionAt Padre Coffee we really thrive on working with other companies and individuals that are as passionate about what they do as we are about coffee. It doesn’t really matter what the medium is, it’s the passion and commitment that unites us. I’ve been able to work on some really creative, meaningful projects with people from both within and outside the specialty coffee industry and I’m really excited to do more of that this year.

Which leads me to my second word: connection - so much of my role is about bringing people together. Even though specialty coffee is what we do, what really drives us is our community and creating long term relationships.

Finally I would say opportunity. A big part of what I do is to identify and seize opportunities to connect, create and support. I’m committed to anchoring every project we work on back to our core values, and ensuring that we’re walking the walk with everything we do. I can’t wait to find more of these opportunities this year. 

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