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Café Leaders Community of Practice: Keys to the Shop

Full bar setup at Ally Coffee office and learning lab in Greenville, South Carolina.


Once again, the Ally Coffee learning program will wrap up the year with a retreat for café leaders to reflect on this past year and prepare for the next. The theme this year is “Getting Stronger Every Year,” facilitated by is Chris Deferio of the podcast Keys to the Shop.
Communities of practice are peer-to-peer workshops to help those of us in the same industry address common challenges and concerns while building community. The Café Leaders Community of Practice in December will answer the question “How do we successfully orchestrate the many aspects of our coffee business, maintain our passion for coffee, and inspire our staff and customers?”

Chris Deferio of “Keys to the Shop” podcast, Community of Practice leader.


This kind of professional development workshop is designed to generate new ideas and perspectives that can be immediately applied in the café to make businesses more profitable and enjoyable places to be for both customers and staff. The retreat will weave together inspiring presentations with both reflective and small group activities that can help us visualize where we want to develop our coffee shops and businesses in 2020.
Chris and Ildi, Ally’s Director of Learning, are all about actionable goals. Chris’s Keys to the Shop is an industry-leading podcast that covers a wide range of topics around running a café, from quality to people to operations. Ildi has been a workplace learning specialist for companies and institutions around the world. She designed programs for the SCA and currently creates customized courses for coffee organizations. Together, they have a wealth of combined knowledge and will guide the workshop in activities that will open up conversations to address participants’ current business needs.

How to support staff with learning and coaching? When are my shop’s tools and equipment in need of upgrades that will improve productivity (and bottom line… and how to calculate that)? How to support my staff as individuals and as coffee professionals? What investments do I need to make in myself and my own learning to take my business toward my next goals and vision? These are just some of the possibilities. Registration is open to be a part of the 2019 Café Leaders Community of Practice. Note: attendees must have current management responsibilities, such as lead barista, café manager, or café owner.
Contact Ildi with any questions and we look forward to seeing you in beautiful Greenville!

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