“After speaking on ‘The Coffee Podcast’ about talent retention as a major challenge to the future of specialty coffee, Elixir Specialty Coffee founder Lee Safar found herself inundated with emails about how to make barista work a sustainable career. Inspired by the challenge, Lee created MAP IT FORWARD, an event series developing different coffee careers down a 10-year time frame.

The inaugural event focused on developing barista career strategies, delving into realistic goal setting and career planning to make barista work a sustainable, long-term profession. The workshop included segments on networking, mentorship, and continuing education to cope with burnout. The second event, featuring roasting consultant and writer Scott Rao and roasting entrepreneur of YES PLZ  Sumi Ali, concentrated on mapping career paths for roasters, from apprenticeship to community building to combatting stress to developing your own brand.

'The idea is to provide top-quality affordable career mentoring and coaching from people in the industry who have demonstrated that they built a career from the ground up by leaning to navigate their path with integrity, craft mastery, and professionalism,' Lee says. In the future, she plans to continue to assemble experts and help more coffee pros think critically about developing their career paths.”


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