There isn’t a regular Victoria St shop customer who doesn’t know the incredible Julie, who has been working at Market Lane for nine years and manages the Vic Market location. Julie is a meticulous, detail-oriented and proactive person, who cares deeply about her shop and its team members, and especially about her customers.
Whether she’s pre-emptively brewing a regular customer’s favourite drink or introducing Market Lane to a specialty coffee newcomer, Julie always goes above and beyond to provide a thoughtful, warm, deliberate and memorable coffee experience.
“Customers simply adore Julie,” says Kai from our HR team. “There isn’t a Victoria St regular who doesn’t know her. And Julie returns that care and attention; she will remember a name and drink order after just two visits. Seeing her behind the bar is a masterclass in generous and attentive customer service.”
We chatted to Julie about how she got her start in coffee, what makes for a great customer service experience, and how she likes to spend her time when she’s not brightening people’s days at Market Lane.
Market Lane Coffee: How long have you been working in coffee? What drew you to it?
Julie: I started working in a coffee franchise 15 years ago. After doing some courses and developing a deeper understanding, I moved to specialty coffee to learn more.
How did you get started at Market Lane?
Market Lane provided me with a platform to better understand beans and coffee-sourcing, and operations in general. Since then, I have loved every second I’ve spent working in the coffee industry.
After all these years working in coffee, what motivates you now?
Tasting and brewing new coffee makes me excited. Coffee is vast – it is like magic, and there is always something new to learn. Attending workshops, seminars and competitions motivates me to continue to be in this industry.
Do you have a favourite producer or coffee? If so, why in particular?
I don’t necessarily have a favourite. Now and then, a producer comes up with a fantastic coffee that becomes my favourite brew for a month or months. I do really love washed Ethiopian coffees. They are so floral and juicy in the cup. I particularly love Jigesa from our current menu!
What is your approach to customer service? Has it changed over the years?
Customer service is impactful, as it can make or break someone's day. I always approach it with kindness, and provide my customer with what they’re after. There is always room for improvement, so I am constantly learning from the people and leaders around me.
You’re passionate about food and hospitality. What do you value in service when you’re a customer?
Quality, clear communication, courtesy and cleanness.
What are your favourite spots to visit around the Victoria St shop?
I like to enjoy wine, so I visit the ReWine store. This spot allows me to unwind and have a pizza and dips with my co-workers and friends after the shift.
How do you like to spend your days off?
I usually like to visit the Melbourne cafe scene; there is always so much happening, but I don’t get much chance these days. Occasionally, I love to go for a long drive and visit some places our beautiful state offers. Like the Mornington Peninsula or the Great Ocean Road.