My Social Pantry Journey; How Walking Past A Cafe Changed My Life

The start of my career in hospitality

What was supposed to be a part-time job to fund my PhD, turned out to be the start of my career in hospitality.

In October 2015, I joined Social Pantry as a part-time barista at the cafe on Lavender Hill. I’d walked passed one day to see a hiring sign in the window and it was just what I was looking for; a job with people (working solo on research was driving me nuts) and part-time hours, which would help me pay the bills living in London.


Social Pantry Banana Bread, Salmon, Clinking Glasses


Once I’d learnt how to make a decent coffee, I felt instantly at home behind the counter and on the floor. The team were welcoming, as were the regulars and I soon started taking on more and more shifts.


Seven months later and I had pressed pause on my PhD and taken on the Cafe Manager job. When Alex offered me the role, I was eager for the challenge. With her inspiration and guidance, I settled into the new role and my team and I worked extremely hard to produce record figures, consistently, for the cafe. As Cafe Manager, I was also able to project manage a refurb, oversee updates to the brunch menu and build a reliable and brilliant team around me.


Granola, Pancakes, hot cross buns


In 2018, this lead to a promotion to Operations Manager. In this new role, I supported the opening of three new sites, whilst continuing to manage the cafe. Looking back on three incredible years at Social Pantry, the opportunities have been more than I could have imagined when I walked in for my cafe trial. I have learnt so much, worked with some hugely talented people, had A LOT of fun and carved out my own career in the industry.