Golden Bean

June 27, 2014

Karen Browne – Cafe Person

This Dynamic 33 year old started working full time at the age of 16, as a receptionist in a recruitment agency. From their she fell into the field of accounting, starting out in Accounts Receivable and throughout her career she has worked in nearly every position that makes up an accounts department. In 2001 Karen moved to a new job with an up and coming café franchise group called Gloria Jean’s Coffees; when she started with them they had only 50 stores in Australia. She took on a role in the procurement section handling the local and international ordering requirements to sustain the 50 stores. After 18 months she moved up into the accounts section, handling the accounts for the corporate stores and also accounts receivable. At this time she also started working part-time in one of the stores as a barista/shift manager on the weekends. Karen left Gloria Jean’s to have her first child.

After Gloria Jean’s, she worked for XYZ Networks (division of Foxtel) staying there for six years in various finance roles; by this time her second child was just under a year old.

Because of her changing home life and parenting commitments, she took on a part-time senior bookkeeper’s job at Eximo SpeedLOCK and some short months after she was hired, she was taking on more and more responsibility due to other employees leaving. Her title changed to Accounts Manager and she was put in charge of Eximo’s largest customer account, as well as running the finance side of the business. Several more months passed, when Roger and Lucille, the owners of Eximo, decided the time had come for them to return to their home on the Sunshine Coast. At this time she became the acting supervisor of all other employees within the company, as well as ensuring the day to day running of the company. In July 2013, she received the promotion/title of General Manager – it has been a whirlwind ride.

Through networking at an industrial trade show in Sydney, Karen was introduced to the Café Culture team, where she quickly recognised a need in the coffee roasting industry. She knew that Eximo would be a welcoming safety solution for the industry, helping to prevent major fires with the patented Speedlock system in exhaust flueing. She became passionate about providing product to the coffee roasting industry, recognising this as one of the only growth industries left in Australia and that the Eximo product was a perfect fit for their requirements. Karen and colleague Kristy McCormack signed up to the Golden Bean Awards for 2013, which proved to be a wonderful experience, giving her new industry contacts for longevity in this exciting new business arena.

We chose Karen to be this edition’s Café Person because of her amazing networking abilities and being able to complete the full sale cycle with new customers. Karen is making significant safety changes for coffee roasters, saving the industry millions of dollars to lost time and injury.



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