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Check Out Simon Ogg’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Simon Ogg.

Hi Simon, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Trophy Coffee is owned/operated by The Master’s University and was founded in the Fall of 2019. The school desired to have a central meeting space on campus with the intention of serving the students and the surrounding community. Trophy’s space is built on the campus gym where the school’s athletic trophies were stored hence the name. As we talked more about what we wanted Trophy Coffee to be we settled in on the concept of the trophy and its meaning. Our goal is to win our customers—to win them to our coffees, our service, and our shop.

The Apostle Paul speaks of an athlete who exerts all his efforts to gain a perishable wreath, the trophy of the ancient Olympic Games. But Paul sought to gain an imperishable trophy, the eternal reward promised to all who live a life for God’s glory. As part of The Master’s University, we recognize that the way we serve coffee matters, not just to people but to God.

Simply put, at Trophy Coffee, we want to win. So, we serve quality coffee, and we serve it with an attitude that brings glory to God.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been anything but a smooth road for Trophy Coffee so far, we have dealt with needing to close to update our heath permits to restaurant status, only to re-open right before the Covid-19 pandemic, so business has been slow to grow. We decided early on in the pandemic that even though it would not be all that profitable to be open, we wanted to be open for our community and serve them in any way we could, through delivery, curbside service, window service, bottling our drinks, and more. We have really seen gracious support by the community since we’ve opened and we’re excited to continue serving our guests.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I was hired on as the Manager of Trophy Coffee a few months before opening. My background in coffee goes back to when I was a kid. My parents are missionaries and Bible translators in Papua New Guinea, and they arrived in country just a few months before I was born. I was born and raised there and would frequent the coffee gardens on my way to one of the many rivers to float and hang out with friends. I started a little coffee roasting business in high school and always enjoyed the coffee there. It wasn’t until college though when specialty coffee became more popular, that my love of coffee really exploded. From there, I continued to roast coffee at home on my homemade roaster. I got hired on as a barista at a local shop and worked my way up to manager there before starting at Trophy Coffee. My love of coffee continues on at Trophy with being able to source incredible coffees from roasters around the world, getting to train students and alumni, and serving our community new drinks that they have never seen before. I really get to do what I love for work and I am incredibly blessed to be where I am.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
The professional specialty coffee community is actually much smaller than you would think and pretty much everyone is willing to guide you if you’re willing to put in the work. In our industry, there aren’t really “trade secrets” and the more knowledge about coffee we share, the more it pushes the industry forward. Networking through social media or trade shows is what I’ve found to be the most helpful but I wouldn’t say I have a specific mentor. I just try to accumulate as much knowledge as possible from others that have been in the industry longer than me and apply it to my own business.

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The Masters University

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