Sam Embry joined Padre Coffee in early 2018 and has been a defining member of the team ever since. Initially hired as a retail team member at our Brunswick East store, Sam was offered the Assistant Manager role within six months and, by mid-2019, was Store Manager.
This swift progression into management was not surprising given Sam’s education and professional history. Sam completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, with a major in Health & Sport Science and a minor in Psychology. He also worked various jobs during and post study, including duty managing at leisure centres, which combined his interest in health and sports with his organisational skills. He also worked with the team at Tom & Captain, a company that takes pet dogs on adventure days! Here, Sam handled a mix of sales, customer service and communications responsibilities - and also got to indulge in his love of dogs.
As with all of us, however, Sam’s passion for coffee came calling and the rest - as they say - is history. After managing our Brunswick East store for a few months, Sam was offered a role in the wholesale sales team, moving over to Padre HQ in February 2020. Sam thrives in this role, which is as fast paced as it is varied. From handling sales enquiries, to managing existing relationships and conducting training for our wholesale customers - Sam approaches all his responsibilities with passion, consideration and drive.
Sam is known around the office for his cheeky irreverence and deadpan delivery, but these are balanced with his genuine compassion and care for his colleagues. When he’s not at work, Sam can be found spending time with his dog, Morris the English Setter, either around Melbourne or back home with family in Gippsland. He balances his love of good food with a passion for healthy living and exercise. He’s also an ardent fan of the Carlton Blues!
What has been the most rewarding part of your Padre journey so far?
The most rewarding part of my journey so far has been my progression in the company. Being able to progress from a member of the team in store through to being the store manager was a great experience. Through that journey, I was surrounded by such fantastic and knowledgeable workmates who helped me to gain a thorough understanding of Padre Coffee and the industry as a whole. Now, bringing all that experience and knowledge to sales and account management, I’m able to communicate our offering and values confidently to our customers. I’m also able to draw on my in store experiences to relate to our customers on the frontline.
What do you enjoy the most about working with our cafe partners?
We are lucky to have the best customers in the industry; they are the absolute cream of the crop! Our café partners are truly fantastic people and a genuine pleasure to work with.
Something that is really rewarding is meeting a potential café partner, discovering our values align and then aiding them through the whole onboarding process. This involves assisting them in picking the right coffee and equipment for their needs, workflow layout and assistance, service consulting, training and overseeing the machine install. Then to see it all come together on opening day and witness the true excitement on our customers’ faces after months of hard work is just magical. If our café partners are happy, relaxed and excited on opening day then we have done our job.
Forming relationships with our partners and helping in any way to ensure their business is growing and thriving to its full potential is a mainstay of what we do. My role is very much a people facing role (which I love) so of course with that you do build genuine friendships and mutually beneficial relationships with customers.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Rewarding. Working with our customers to achieve their professional - and often personal - dreams is so gratifying.
Supportive. We work in a really tight knit team and everyone is so supportive of each other. I’m proud to then pass that ethos on to our customers and support them every step of their journey alongside us.
Integrity. One of the best things about working at Padre is the true integrity of the company, offering and people. It’s easy and fulfilling to sell something you truly believe in and is aligned with your own values.
Padre Coffee acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continued connections to land, sea and community.
We pay our respect to Elders past, present and future, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.