Climpson & Sons surely did not know what it was getting when it employed Nicole Ferris as an administrator in 2011. Having worked her way through the company ranks to become managing director, Nicole is a key person on the coffee scene and is central to Climpson & Sons’ success and superb reputation. She also has a renowned coffee palate and finished second in the 2017 UK Cup Tasters Championship.
Singapore-born but raised in New Zealand, Nicole started working in coffee at the age of 15, around the same time she began to enjoy drinking it. Initially she favoured double-shot 6oz dry mochas before moving on to flat whites, although now she says her favourite way to drink coffee is to cup it. After a few years in hospitality in Auckland, she went travelling in South and Central America for a year.
While journeying through the Pantanal tropical wetlands in Brazil, she struck up a friendship with a couple, fellow Kiwis who were resident in London – one of them, Regan Hawea, was a roaster at Climpson & Sons. When her travels came to an end in July 2011, Nicole headed for London where the couple had offered her their spare room. At the company’s original roastery/training centre/office, she met an old school friend, Melissa, as well as Matt Ho and Danny Davis. Within months, Nicole was working in the office.
She started in a general office role covering admin, logistics, customer services and bookkeeping, but learned about coffee a