The SCA is a global community comprised of local communities who all share the belief that coffee is more than a commodity. We come together to develop and exchange knowledge, expand our network, share our experiences, and to simply make coffee better.
Once a community of like-minded individuals has come together in a location, there’s an option to explore the founding of a more formal structure: an SCA Chapter. These are communities led by an elected committee of passionate volunteers that represent SCA activities in a specific country or regional territory. SCA Chapters are responsible for engaging the community in their local region by delivering education, events, research, and other engagement opportunities.
In this month’s SCA Chapter Spotlight, we caught up with Jeremy Ho, National Coordinator of the SCA Canada Chapter.
Learn more about Jeremy and the SCA Canada team here.
What does the SCA Canada stand for?
Our mission at SCA Canada is to foster, grow and serve our Canadian specialty coffee industry. We aim to be an organization that represents and respects our diverse and thriving coffee community across the country.
As a chapter, our main function is to find ways to continue to promote the growing specialty segment of our industry, to connect our strong community that form the foundation of this industry from across the country, and to find creative and unique ways to listen to the needs of our members and find ways to serve them.
A huge part of this has been putting on and running the WCE sanctioned competition events throughout the year. These events mean a lot to our community and are ways that bring everyone together in a way that inspires each other to be better.
Pictured: Top 6 from SCA Canada’s Western Barista Qualifier – (1) Ben Put, (2) Cole Torode, (3) Karine Ng, (4) Jill Hoff, (5) David Kim, and (6) Daniel Walsh.
What does it mean to you, individually, to be a part of SCA Canada?
I feel that being a part of this organization is a huge responsibility. The Canadian coffee industry, all the amazing people that are a part of it, and the WCE Competitions have given so much to me, my family, and my career. It has changed, shaped, and developed my passion for coffee. It has really given so much to me and meeting people at all stages of their careers makes me feel the responsibility to not only represent them well, but to foster a healthy, burgeoning community that would give every opportunity for a passion for coffee to grow.
It’s also been a very special opportunity to work with an incredible team of professionals that share the same passion as I do for the industry. It is humbling to see my team continue to selflessly pursue our mission as a chapter and to work so hard in a volunteer capacity simply for a love of our industry and our community. We navigate challenges, celebrate successes and find the most joy when community is built and our industry grows.
It also means a lot to see many businesses, organizations and industry partners from all parts of our community being willing to sponsor and support our events as well.
Pictured: Top 6 from SCA Canada’s Eastern Barista Qualifier – (1) Gabrielle Côté, (2) Nelson Phu, (3) Gays Liou, (4) Rambert Sin, (5) Gabriela Ferreira, and (6) Catherine Gauthier.
What are the annual highlights for the SCA Canada Community?
The highlights were entered around the organization and running of our regional and national competitions.
We held one of our regional qualifiers in a smaller town and the energy, excitement, and passion that rallied around this event inspired us to pursue more events in less coffee developed areas.
Another highlight was our National Brewer’s and Cup Taster’s Championships which was hosted in conjunction with a coffee festival called East Coast Coffee Madness. Thousands at this festival were able to learn more about competition and get up close and personal to the action.
Finally, another highlight was getting a collective bid from the Prairie Coffee Collective to work collaboratively with us to host a regional competition. The collective was comprised of several business owners from coffee companies across a couple of provinces all united by a drive to build community.
Another highlight has also been seeing how our well our national champions have performed at the World Competition over the last few years.
Pictured: Top 6 from the 2019 Wolrd Barista Championship – (1) Jooyeon Jeon – South Korea, (2) Michalis Dimitrakopoulos – Greece, (3) Cole Torode – Canada, (4) Mikael Jasin – Indonesia, (5) Mojtek Bialczak – Germany, and (6) Mathieu Theis – Switzerland. Photo by Lanny Huang.
What’s next for the SCA Canada Chapter?
We are looking at ways that we can introduce new competitions, continue listening and serving our membership base, and explore how we can use our organization as a platform for positive industry change, all with the mission of fostering, growing and serving our thriving industry with our diverse foundation of members