Lanna Cafe: Thailand Coffee Project.
Throughout this year, we will be highlighting some people who are making a big difference. These interviews were done in Thailand with various people working in connection with/for Intertribal Development Program (I.T.D.P.)
Meet Aw Chiraphorn
Aw has worked for ITDP since February 2003. She has been part of the coffee project for the past 15 years and yet while interviewing her, it was clear she is still as passionate as ever for what she does. Aw really enjoys her job and the people she works with and it was a joy to get to know her a little more through this interview. We hope you want to learn more and get involved, too.
What is your position? Project manager at Lanna Cafe/Rx Cafe.
Can you describe your job? What do you do for ITDP? Connect with ITDP to buy green coffee and promote Thai coffee and educate people on how the Thai coffee helps the Hill Tribes and how good the coffee is. I do the scheduling for the coffee shops, oversee the wholesale markets for Lanna Cafe, stock the shelves in stores, set up for the shops, design and marketing for the coffee, train baristas to gain knowledge before opening a coffee shop, sell the coffee at events like out city-wide events and conferences. Management of shops, menus for the coffee shop. I also find new markets.
Sounds like you do a little bit of everything, Aw! Wow!
Why did you want to work here? Aw said that she believes in education of Thai Coffee and all it has to offer. She saw the producers in the villages and how coffee can improve their lives through the growth and sales of the coffee business. She wants to work with ITDP and Lanna Cafe because ITDP has a good concept of Fair Trade coffee and how to elevate Thai Coffee in all areas working from seed to cup.
What is your favorite part of what you do? For me is like the people and education part of it… improving the quality of Thai coffee. Seeing profiles of coffee and bringing out the profiles of the coffee and seeing how it benefits the villages each year and the 500 families who are affected by the project. Start with the producer, don’t start with the barista. You need to start with the producer and make sure that is is excellent from the start. I feel like this is family and I feel very supported in my job and what I do.
I asked Aw to explain why she felt this way or give an example and she shared the everyone she worked with and Mike and Becky (ITDP Directors) came to her father’s funeral when he passed away in 2017 and this meant so much to her and showed her how supportive her co-workers are. She was deeply impacted by that and gave me permission to share this publicly.
What is the most memorable moment this year so far… Happy for this year is to open RX Cafe and setting up RX cafe in 2017. Able to educate a lot of people including foreigners through this shop. Meeting customers at RX cafe and having this to educate people on better coffee.
I was impressed with Aw’s heart for coffee and people and was happy to have the opportunity to interview her and hear about her commitment to this project.
Interviewed/written by Kelly Mitchinson.
Stay Tuned for more interviews each month….