As Lead Roaster and Manager, Ben Rugg is the person crafting your Pallet coffee from bean to grind. On a typical day if he’s not roasting, you’ll find Ben behind the coffee machine, pulling shots of espresso behind the café’s La Marzocco Strada.
Ben is no newbie to specialty coffee. Originally from New Zealand where he worked in the specialty coffee industry for 9 years, he moved to Vancouver with his wife to continue his career with a slight change of scenery.
Ben quickly fell in love with Canada in particular the sheer magnitude of the country, its mountains, its animals and its heart. Oh, and let’s not forget his favourite thing, the Vancouver coffee scene. After all, it is coffee he calls home.
We asked Ben to share some of his story with us (over a coffee, of course).
How did you come across Pallet?
Before leaving New Zealand I researched some specialty coffee roasters in Vancouver and found Pallet, it seemed like a really cool new company with a great style and quality coffee. In fact, they were sourcing beans from some of the same farms I had been dealing with in New Zealand. It just felt right.
I came in for an interview on my second day in Vancouver and was working in the cafe as a barista a few days after that. Soon after I was roasting, sourcing and blending and now my role includes training and managing the café.
How has the journey been so far?
It has been an amazing year and a half working with Pallet so far. The team have been really supportive since I joined and are fun to work with.
I feel like we have achieved a lot in this short time and I am eager to see what the next few years bring.
What is your favourite origin?
I like any coffee that has character to it, nice flavours and other qualities that make it stand out. When roasted right, the end result should be a coffee with its own unique character.
Best advice you’ve been given?
My old boss, now mentor and friend, Anna from Coffee Lab told me just before I left that “You know so much more than you think you do, always speak up and say what you think”. This has always stuck with me as especially in an industry like coffee, you need to trust your instincts and at times be bold.
I also shouldn’t forget my dad. He has always worked so hard to support everyone and has really taught me to work hard to achieve my goals. I guess you could say that’s a lifetime of advice!
Thanks Ben! We all can’t wait to see what you’ll be crafting next.