Meet Tanya Howarth, Retail Team, VIC

by Amanda Pantas March 22, 2021 4 min read


It’s rare to meet someone who is simultaneously the life of the party and the detail-oriented organiser, but Tanya Howarth is just that. Ask any of her regular customers or colleagues, and they’ll attest to her cheeky sense of humour, talent for the finer details and passion for connecting with people. 

Born and raised in the inner suburbs of Canberra, Tanya moved to Melbourne in 2013, ready for adventure and eager for new opportunities. She studied a Bachelor of Technology at RMIT, majoring in Computing Studies, and after graduating in 2016 she worked with Telstra as an Iteration Manager and a Project Specialist. Here, she gained key communication and organisational skills that have helped shape her into the powerhouse planner she is today. A desire for a career change led her to seek out some espresso making courses and - fortunately for us - she found herself drawn to a career in Melbourne’s dynamic and world-class coffee scene. 

Tanya started her journey with Padre Coffee in April 2019, joining our Brunswick East crew as a relative newcomer to specialty coffee. 2019 was a big year for Tanya, as she also found time to marry her wonderful husband Joshua in a gorgeous ceremony on the east coast of Tasmania. Iconic!

Her ability to wear multiple ‘hats’ (while looking fabulous!) meant that Tanya quickly progressed within the team. She showed inherent leadership qualities, excellent customer service skills and a dedication to developing as a coffee professional. Tanya became assistant manager in February 2020, a role she took on with her signature flair, nurturing the people around her while maintaining our high standards. She is very excited to be stepping up as the manager of our Brunswick East location in 2021, a role she will surely expand and improve upon like she does with anything she sets her mind and heart towards. We are all so excited to see what’s ahead for Tanya. 

In her spare time, when not keeping us all in line and making sure our oat milk game is on point, Tanya is usually exploring Melbourne’s amazing food and wine scene with her husband Josh, making time for camping trips with friends and planning family catch ups, or nesting at her beautiful home with beloved pooches Louis & Gidget, and her cat Pixie.

Tell us about why you decided to apply at Padre Coffee?

I worked for two years in Information Technology as a Project Manager in a large corporate organisation. Although I thoroughly enjoyed that ‘space’, the work environment sadly, was not what I had hoped for.

I took six months off to re-evaluate what I wanted. True to my nature, I created a list of what I wanted out of a workplace, regardless of industry. It read as follows;

  • Passionate team members
  • Supportive work environment
  • A place where I can grow, develop and learn
  • Work that attracts my interest

During my time off I also recalled my fond memories of working in hospitality during my high school years. What I enjoyed most, was the team I worked with and the customer service aspect. 

Padre raised my interest in particular because I could see a clear path for growth and learning whilst being surrounded by people who were truly passionate about what they do. The tenure of Padre’s people reinforced to me that the work environment was a supportive one. It is now coming up to my two year anniversary of working with Padre and I can confirm this with first hand knowledge.

What has been your favourite part of working with the team at Brunswick East?

I could not possibly boil down my time here to one favourite thing. So I will break it down into three. 

Firstly, working with the team members themselves. We hire such a beautiful range of individuals and, while they may have differing interests, they always find a way to connect. At their core they all take pride in what they do and truly care about each other. 

My second highlight is our wonderful customer base. We have a great community that have always supported us. This was particularly apparent during 2020, with our customers looking after us just as much as we looked after them. 

My third highlight somewhat follows on from my second. We have such a knowledgeable customer base that always makes work more fun and interesting. Discussing all things coffee is part of what we do and when we can help someone out or perhaps learn about a new product from them, that’s great. It is a fun way to share information and knowledge. In turn both ourselves and our customers learn and grow.

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Leadership - I am a firm believer that whether you are in a management position or not, you are always a leader. Leadership is so important in our store as it helps us to develop the highest performing teams in the industry. We are all leaders for each other and for our community. It is part of what helps us stand out from the rest. 

Coffee-fanatic - how could I not be when I am surrounded by so many delicious origins and talented baristas. It’s a lot of fun discussing new products with our customers and testing out all sorts of brew methods with each other. No, it does not mean I drink six cups of coffee a day, I simply savour every last drop!

Growth - I think this one is a no-brainer for anyone in a role that makes them happy. Without growth we remain stagnant and that eventually leads to boredom. My role is anything but boring with regular challenges popping up from all angles, helping me to grow as a person and as a member of the Padre Coffee team. 

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