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Our Story

We are a coffee company and family united by a love for great coffee and a desire to protect all it supports. Our journey began over conversations with small scale coffee producers  in Kenya as we asked them about their experiences of Fairtrade. This opportunity was life changing and inspiring but also deeply emotive, displaying the deep seated issues in this global supply chain and showing us that the industry does not work for all those it serves and specifically, for those it relies upon. 

North Star was founded to prove that an approach based on quality and impact can improve the viability of business models across the coffee supply chain. We have a vision of a more certain future for coffee, free from the volatility of the commodity market and resilient to the impacts of climate change. If you share our vision and love for great coffee, you too can take steps to safeguard its future!

Become a part of our North Star family, you can order from us online, visit the North Star Coffee Shop or try our beans in one of the amazing spaces run by our wholesale partners across the UK.

Meet the team

Holly Kragiopoulos

Co-Founder, Director, Licensed Q Grader

Hols started her career in coffee as a buyer and ethical coordinator for green importers, Falcon Specialty. She became a licensed Q Grader taster in 2014 and participates as a member of the international jury for the Cup of Excellence. Hols has penned our ethical procurement approach and selects our green coffee as well as the producers we work alongside.

Contact: hols@northstarroast.com

Alex Kragiopoulos

Co-Founder, Director, Head of Production

Alex (known to most as ‘Krag’!) founded the business in 2013 at the age of 22. He learned to roast with some of the best and now heads up our Roastery operation, overseeing production and managing our green coffee purchases with Hols. Krag has worked on consultancy projects for a host of roasteries across the UK and Europe and now holds a managerial role within the operational side of our business.

Contact: krag@northstarroast.com

Ollie Sears

Wholesale Business Development, AST Trainer

Ollie joined North Star in 2015 as our Wholesale Manager and he has swiftly become known as the face of the business being most people’s first point of contact with our company. He is the friendliest, most optimistic chap you will ever meet but importantly, he is one of the most qualified and experienced baristas and trainers in the UK. Ol is an Authorised SCA Trainer and is unique in the way he approaches and delivers support and training, appropriate to the needs of your business. He is passionate about helping you to succeed with a true focus on environmental and social responsibility throughout.

Contact : Ollie@northstarroast.com

Liam Maidment

Head of Coffee

We have had the pleasure of knowing Liam for 9 years now and have watched his coffee career going from strength to strength as he has amassed amazing experience with the likes of Grindsmith Coffee, Grumpy Mule and most recently, the wonderful Origin Coffee. He has such a well-rounded background in coffee having worked as a barista, green buyer and roaster. What’s more, he is a licensed Q grader taster and has also previously competed in the SCA UK Brewer’s Cup, taking 3rd place. So yeah, we are pretty chuffed he has joined the team to work alongside fellow gem and North Star Business Development Manager, Ollie Sears – what a duo these two make!

Contact: Liam@northstarroast.com

James Fairweather

Head Roaster

James has been roasting for North Star since 2017. He now heads up our production roasting whilst working alongside the dispatch team to fulfil all orders coming in. James has developed a fantastic palate which hugely complements his approach to roasting, and has provided him with an interesting vocabulary to describe his experience of the coffees we bring in. James is the reason our coffees are so consistent, he genuinely wants to bring out the absolute best of each bean and he does a great job of inherently understanding the potential each lot holds.

Contact: James@northstarroast.com

Marcus Reading

Dispatch Manager

In October 2019 we started to advertise for a dispatch role within the Roastery to help us fulfil orders as the winter season hit full peak. We interviewed several candidates but Marcus caught our attention with his broad working background that had seen him fulfil a range of operational roles, from working on farms in Australia to an ethical caviar farm here in Leeds! He has been with us ever since having done an excellent job and he now manages the preparation of wholesale and retail orders. He is fastidious in his commitment to our customers to package their orders with care and attention to detail. He also shares our collective love of sweet treats!

Contact: Marcus@northstarroast.com

Lydia -Turnball

Marketing & Content Lead

Lyd has worked in Marketing for nine years across the arts, charity, retail and now coffee. She joined the team in June 2021 and now heads up North Star’s marketing, content and events. Lyd is responsible for the development and delivery of all marketing campaigns and helps tell our brand story both online and offline. Reach out to her if you have any press enquiries, want to be part of the North Star community, are interested in collaboration, or generally have any marketing questions.

Contact: Lydia@northstarroast.com

Lucas Jubb

Branding Lead

Lucas has over ten years of experience designing for independent brands and is the man behind many of Leeds’ much loved brands. We started working with him when searching for more sustainable packaging options and he was responsible for launching our new packaging in 2021. He has since joined us full time! Lucas is responsible for both North Stars’ external and internal branding and will play a key role in delivering our impact-led brand values.

Contact: Lucas@northstarroast.com

Matt Andrews

Operations Manager.

Our operations manager Matt is no new kid on the hospitality block. He started as a barman, then became a chef, then worked in the pub business for several years before seeing sense and switching to coffee. He still loves spending time in pubs as a keen pub quizzer, and enjoys going on adventures with Gordon the Dalmatian and Freddie the Golden Retriever (always with a country pub visit along the way!)

Contact : Matt@northstarroast.com

Join our team!

Our business is open to all applicants regardless of race, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or age. We are committed to building a diverse workspace where equal opportunities are accessible to all. For more information about careers at North Star please email hello@northstarroast.com

Roastery Team

Lilly

Lily joined us in July of 2021 and was quickly showing the dispatch team up with her speed and efficiency. Lily is also a freelance digital print designer in her spare time and lives with a domineering rabbit called Otis.

John

John is a North Star veteran, having worked in our coffee shop before coming to join us at the roastery. He likes things done properly, which comes in handy in his role as a trainer and a member of the dispatch team.

Grace

Grace joined us in June of 2022 as a member of the dispatch team, but quickly progressed onto the Roasting team. Coming from a brewing background, Grace got to grips with our roaster (Stainless Neil) in record time. Music, beer and dogs make Grace tick, making her the perfect fit for the roastery team.

Gemma

Gemma is the smiling face you will see out on deliveries. Whilst she isn’t packing or delivering our beautiful beans, you will find Gemma running her own greeting card business, walking her German-Shepherd , Holly, or attending various vintage fairs across the county.

Andrew

Andrew is the newest member of the dispatch team, joining us to help out with the increased orders over the Christmas period. Andrew came very highly recommended from our friends at ‘If’, where he was head Barista, meaning that he’s now responsible for keeping the roastery topped up with flat whites! When he’s not packing or delivering coffee across Leeds, Andrew can be found strumming his guitar or riding his mountain bike.

Cafe Team

Dom

Our glorious General Manager Dom is always whizzing around the place, looking after everyone as he goes. Originally from Bristol, he saw the light and moved to Leeds in February. He’s been a chef, a baker, a barista…He’s a true one man band, and Bristol can’t have him back!

Laura

One of our part time heroes. When she’s not charming the brunch go-ers of Leeds Dock and drinking endless cups of tea, she has her own illustration, glassware and jewellery business. 

Henry

Henry moved from being full time graphic designer to pursue a career in coffee. Away from the tools, Henry likes bouldering, playing badminton, gaming, and chilling with his cat Jemima. 

Nat

Front of house extrodinaire by day, incredible artist by night. Nat’s favourite drink is an oat milk mocha, but nothing compares to her deep obsession with penguins. 

Nat G

Nat is another one of our part time heroes. She has a part time marketing business, but is a full time decaf oat flat white drinking North Star legend

Mero

Mero moved from a coffee shop in Hong Kong to work at North Star - that’s the kind of commitment we expect! She loves nothing more than drinking a pour-over after scuba diving!

Viktoriia

Viktoriia was a barista in Ukraine before joining North Star. She loves to drink oat chai lattes, read, bake and do yoga in her spare time. 

Ben

Ben has infectious enthusiasm for everything coffee, and is often seen sipping batch filter. Originally from Barnsley, Ben likes to spend his days-off hiking and taking photographs.

Jay

Jay has been a chef with us since day dot, and is a true stalwart of the kitchen. When he’s not being a flat-white sipping expert egg scrambler, he likes to spend his free time cycling or hiking.

Joe

Another stalwart of the kitchen, Joe has been with us nearly since the beginning too. If Joe’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, he’s out and about exploring every corner of the UK.

Josh

An amazing recent addition to the chef team, Josh used to be a wild flower farmer. He loves motorcycling and his jazz and blues music.

Join our team!

COPY NEEDED contact gm@northstarroast.com

Our Philosophy on coffee

It is crucial for us to build solid relationships with individuals and companies who can help us ask the right questions, no matter how uncomfortable, and encourage us to challenge long established systems and ideas to truly regenerate the supply chain.

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