The men of Caffè Ernani: Mark

I maestri della tostatura media
Foto di Mark, un barista della Torrefazione Ernani a Milano con la divisa estiva (grembiule Ernani e maglietta bianca mezze maniche) dietro al bancone del locale.
Hi Mark! First of all, thank you for taking the time to interview me.
You joined the team in July 2023. You have had the opportunity to settle in, get to know and make yourself known to colleagues and customers.
Now I’ll ask you straight away: what are your first impressions?

Hi Marti, thank you for doing the interview with me too!

So my first impressions were really very positive. The colleagues proved to be professional and above all competent from day one.

It seems strange to say, but it is rare to find an establishment in which everyone knows how to work, knows the raw material and all stages of extraction, and above all is aware of the importance of service to customers. In fact, they are always kind and welcomed me from day one, like family.

Furthermore, when you ask a question they always know what to answer and how to explain both the job and the product.

Thanks to them I learn something new every day, and this motivates me to keep going and discover more and more information about the world of coffee, to reach the same level as them or even surpass them!

Wow! I see that you have enormous respect for your colleagues and your work. Your love for this profession shines through and it is clear that you were looking for the right coffee shop to express it!
Just out of curiosity, can you give me some examples on the things you were taught!

Of course!

For example, I understood that you can learn a lot from a coffee bean and that most people don’t know it at all, despite believing the opposite. I can say this because I thought so too, but I had to admit that perhaps my knowledge was not enough to treat him with the respect he deserves!

I have learned that there are a thousand variables that can spoil the product, and we have a responsibility to maintain its high quality, from transportation to storage to the roasting, blending, extraction and serving stage.

Another thing they taught me is the knowledge and preparation of all the other alternative coffee extraction methods to espresso, namely Brewing methods. In fact, I look forward to coming to your Lab again and taking the dedicated course to learn how to use them all to the fullest!

I am more than happy to wait for you! You know, when you tell me that you want to take more courses and learn more, it fills my heart! To work well, as you know, you have to study and then put everything into practice!
Coming back to us, is this your first job? Most importantly, is this your first job in a coffee shop?

No, I am actually on my second official job, although I have previously done several internships with the school.

Like Cristian in fact (colleague at the roasting company) I graduated from the Carlo Porta Hotelier Institute in Milan, specializing in cooking.

After a couple of internships, however, I realized that the kitchen was not the right environment for me: the hours are grueling and the work even worse, and it all gets worse when you are a shy kid.

So after I finished school, I started sending around resumes a bit randomly, as a barista, receptionist, assistant, clerk, cashier, etc. One day a well-known supermarket chain called me to take care of their in-house cafeteria. I accepted immediately.

They were the first to educate me about the world of daytime administration. This gave me the opportunity to grow, become a professional, work my way up and understand the dynamics of working with both clients and colleagues and administration. I really have nothing to criticize; they have always been impeccable toward me.

Moreover, this first experience literally changed me as a person!

I used to be weak, unsociable and shy, very unsure of myself, but thanks to public contact I am now more confident and my shyness has practically disappeared.

I will never stop thanking this profession for changing the personality for the better!

Well, so one venue before Ernani, but one that revolutionized your life, gave you drive and passion, shaped you, made you realize what you want to do and who you want to become in life. You really got off on the right foot!
Congratulations because being aware of this at your young age is not for everyone!
Taking a step back instead, tell us how you came to Cafe Ernani.

As I told you in the previous work, I always got along very well. The problem started only in the last few months when there was a bit of staff change and all the new colleagues were young and uninterested in learning and unmotivated in improving themselves. By this time there was no more confidence and it was time to change and look for new positive stimuli.

So I started looking for jobs online and found your ad on Indeed. Fabio called me to do the test a couple of days later.

He liked me very much and I liked him very much.

It quickly made me realize that here at Caffè Ernani, harmony in the team is very important and that we consider ourselves a family. In addition, you would have trained me further and I would have had a chance to express myself as a professional–that was exactly what I was looking for, so here I am!

I am glad to hear all this, every now and then chance brings us figures like yours who are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about this work. You should never let them get away, and Fabio (bar manager) always sees right through this!
Whatever you want to learn and deepen, you know very well that we are here for this and it can only make us happy to receive questions from those who want to make this job great!
Having arrived here, I ask you if you have a goal for the future?
In the future I would like to open a club with my brother, who is currently working as a bartender in London.

Before you say anything–I know, it’s very difficult, especially in Italy, but dreams are dreams and above all, never say never!

In addition, we could offer a really broad service, from breakfasts, with me in charge, to aperitifs and beyond, thanks to precisely my brother.

We will see how the future goes!

But regardless of my dream over the years I have realized that I want to stay behind the counter, because this is what I love to do!

As I told you, this work has already given me so much, and I feel an obligation to repay it.

Another time wow! Determined, assertive, knowledgeable, professional, clear–in short, you’ve got it all!
I wish you good luck and I am sure that with your determination you will be able to make your dream come true!
If you don’t mind now, while we’re on the personal side, I would ask if you have any hobbies or passions outside of the coffee shop.

No problem!

I have three great passions: the first is definitely playing basketball with friends at the little park, or with my father. This sport has always connected us very closely.

Then ride a bike. If I can, I prefer in the mountains, either along roads or dirt trails.

Finally, I love traveling, meeting new places, meeting people, tasting new tastes and being amazed. Unfortunately, the only drawback of this job is that it doesn’t leave much time to leave, but I always try during the year to carve out moments to get away.

Do you already have a destination for the next occasion?

Of course!

I would very much like to be able to go to America, first of all to see New York, and then we will see where my instincts take me.

Well, so we have another sportsman, passionate in team play but also about nature and discovering new things. Great!
To conclude, and then I’ll leave you to your work, I would ask you the usual usual questions:
  • What do you like most about Ernani?

  • What would you change instead?

  • What goal do you have within the company?

The thing I like most is, as I said, the relationship built with colleagues, I think almost unobtainable in any other workplace.

I was also amazed then by the antiquity and atmosphere inside the café, as if I were transported to a Milan of another era. Moreover, working in such an environment gives me feelings of prestige!

I would still change the furniture arrangement, however, so as to create more space and also be able to get some seating inside.

I would also like to have a way to prepare and serve some different extraction methods as well, but currently I do not see where and how that is possible.

However, I also know that you are already working on it, so I look forward to the results!

Finally, I would like to be able to grow with the company and if there is a way someday to move to a new venue also signed Ernani, more modern and with different offerings, but in which there is always this “vintage” and historical atmosphere.

Well, then we know who we need to keep an eye on to follow us into the next project!
All the points you touched on are right, and they are the same points that we also think and are working on.
What can I say Mark, thank you so much for your time and for telling us so much about yourself.
I wish you all the best in your future!
See you soon in Torrefazione!

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

torna su
Apri chat
Bisogno di aiuto?
Ciao 👋
sono Martina, come ti possiamo aiutare?
Risponderò a qualsiasi tua domanda dal lunedì al venerdì, dalle 9.00 alle 18.00! ☕️💛