I was Coffee, Cake & Kink's very first employee back in 2004, when I saved Alana from the sink, and the last one to leave in 2008. We had a lot of fun in between!


Questions we asked:


Black, strong, in large quantities all the time.


The banana and walnut cake with strawberry ice-cream, which I pioneered when we ran out of vanilla!

Kinks: Interests, Quirks or Peculiarities

Oh, where do we even start! My peculiarities are more or less the whole of my personality although they are also part of what makes me good at what I do (organize all the things) so it could be worse.

What attracted you to Coffee, Cake & Kink? (Why CCK?)

I really, really like Monmouth coffee. Also I appreciated it as a place with aspirations for being a safe, community minded space as well as a shop.

Questions we asked when leaving:

3 years on, how do you remember your time at Coffee, Cake & Kink?

Unpredictable! Fun, exhausting, sometimes frustrating.

Is there anything that still makes you laugh / cringe?

All the washing up! I always regretted there wasn't a sink gimp, although so many had offered...

Why did you leave CCK?

I needed to be somewhere I could sit down most of the time as my back wasn't, and still isn't, entirely stable. After finishing my degree, I needed a full-time, non-retail job as didn't want to work in another shop so decided to move on to office work.

Is there anything in particular you remember about that final period?

It was in the run up to closing the physical shop. It was a bit of a drawn out process rather than one definite date by which we were going to close... but it did mean we had no less than 3 closing parties, each one better than last!

What did you do / where did you go after CCK?

A telecoms company where I started as a Receptionist and ended up as Office Manager within about 4 months.

How did it compare with CCK?

More people, many of them straight, which was a bit confusing for some time! Very few points of actual comparasome now I come to think about it.

What skills or experience that you gained with us turned out to be most beneficial post-CCK?

Everything customer facing was extremely useful. Running management support. How to do everything whether it's in your job or not. How to look like you know what you're doing while furiously researching until you do. How to make really good coffee!

Where are you / what do you do now?

In June 2012, I moved to a PA role with project work with a technology company. I tell people what to do for a living - sort of like what I do all the time, except they give me money for it!

What do you put on your CV when presenting your time at Coffee, Cake & Kink to prospective new employers?

CC&K or CC&K cafe/store.

Have you ever found yourself needing to explain it in more details? If so, how did you go about it? What was the result?

Yes, I tend to explain the general philosophy about it as a community space and end by pointing out that our coffee was better than anyone else's.

Overall, have you found "Kink" on your CV to be more advantageous (quirky, attention-grabbing etc.) or disadvantageous (prejudice)?

When I had Coffee Cake & Kink on my CV in full I had fewer interview requests than when I shortened it but that could be for any number of reasons. On the other hand, it tends to make me stand out in interviews which can be useful.

Have you stayed in touch with anyone from your CCK years?

On and off, Wael comes back to the UK sometimes, I still know a lot of the customers that I met during my time there.

Anything else that you would like to say?

This summer I will be putting my non-traditional coffee shop training to excellent use volunteering at Center Camp Cafe in Burning Man... as we all know I don't have barrista training but how difficult can it be to handle US dollars?