Coffee Lab: Interview with Stelios Roumeliotis!
With a network of about 80 stores within three years, Coffee Lab is now a powerful player in the cafeteria industry both in Greece and Cyprus, creating at the same time about 600 new jobs.
Coffee Lab started in Chalkida in 2009 by Stelios Roumeliotis, who has twice won the Barista Champion.
How did you get the idea of doing business in this field?
I loved the smells, the tastes, the sounds of the machine... I wanted to learn more and more, so I took up the position of head of training in one of the largest coffee import and production companies. Then I became production manager at a coffee processing plant.
What is the different thing that Coffee Labs have to offer? What distinguishes you from the competition?
Coffee Lab is the first and foremost representative for the third wave of coffee. We check the coffee path from production at the farm as well as harvest and transport conditions. Highest-quality single-source coffees account for only 10% of world production. This in itself demonstrates the great difference our chain has in relation to competition.
What would you say is the secret of your success?
We love our work a lot. We have a passion for coffee, we know very well how to make coffee, but we never rest. We research, we test, we learn new things and we choose the best in the world market and in the best harvest period.
Do you think that people have been "trained" in terms of coffee? Are they more demanding now?
That's true. In recent years, consumers have smelled aromas, have tasted flavors that they did not know they could exist in their coffee and have begun to distinguish the superior quality and to look for it. This is the main reason why Coffee Lab has loyal fans, the reason Coffee Lab is becoming a daily habit.
You have opened almost 80 stores in 3 years... What are your future plans?
Growing the number of stores is not an end in itself. Our most important goal, however, is to help spread the quality coffees, to keep our friends, the consumers who prefer us, happy as well as our partners who trust us.