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Curating coffee and careers at healthy food cafe, Farm Girl

Curating coffee and careers at healthy food cafe, Farm Girl inploi Team | 10.07.2018

Antipodean-inspired, health food-focussed, freshly curated, Farm Girl offers its customers an Insta-worthy, relaxed environment from brunch through to dinner. Founded 3 years ago by Rose Mann and her partner, Anthony, Farm Girl has grown rapidly - with 3 sites now open to the public across London (and one ‘secret’ cafe at Great Western Studios). We caught up with the group’s HR Manager, Emma Brown, at their Carnaby Street cafe to find out more about this young and fast-growing company.

Emma joined Farm Girl a year ago as Barista, working flexibly to compliment her career as an Actress. Emma was attracted by the company’s “ethos and focus on healthy food, but not diet food! It’s not pretentious or anxiety-inducing, and I think that’s really productive. It’s the best of both worlds.” This no-fuss, simple (if anything practical) approach seems to be a theme throughout the business. “We employ people who are really hands-on,” Emma explains, “so I’m HR Manager but a Barista called in sick this morning so I was on the till. We get called all the time to do things. We all do everything. The owners clear the bins. There’s no pretension behind it.”

So how did Emma go from Barista to HR within a year? “I quickly moved into doing some admin for them freelance,” Emma says, having kept her finger on the pulse switching between auditions and shifts. “I said they don’t have any HR, so I created a role for myself - which because Farm Girl started out so small, and it’s such a fast-growing company - people stay and grow with us. I guess my job has been curated in the same way as everyone’s has over time.” Few companies of Farm Girl’s size can demonstrate such a strong track record of internal growth and development. The Head Chef at their Carnaby Street site started out as KP and has progressed to his position in just over 3 years. There’s a lot of on-the-job training, but hard work is recognised and each individual’s ideas contribute towards the business’ success.

Farm Girl’s menu is largely the brainchild of the company’s former Executive Chef, Benoit Marmoiton (previously David Beckham’s private chef), who introduced a huge variety of superfood ingredients including, acai berries, bee pollen, cashew cream and coconut bacon. The drinks menu is equally exotic, with Lavender Lattes and ‘Liquid Gold’ tea, made with fresh lime juice, ginger, spices, astragalus (a herb known for boosting the immune system) and honey. However, Rose has always been keen on letting people put their mark on things. “Everyone is really open,” Emma says, “if you have an idea the owners will listen to you.” With the founders visiting each site once a week, they’re a visible presence, still very much involved in the day-to-day running of Farm Girl, and if a chef creates a new dish, they’ll often name it after them.

We asked Emma what qualities she looks for in new hires. “We’re looking for people who are committed to working hard,” Emma explains. Even if you’re a part-time member of staff, you’re still very much part of the team, as shown by Emma’s personal development within the space of a year. “If we see hard work, loyalty and dedication, we will give people opportunities to move up. We facilitate that professional development but also personal development on our sites.” It’s more about finding someone who is enthusiastic, committed and takes an interest in Farm Girl’s ethos, than finding people with lots of previous experience. “We look for eagerness and enthusiasm. If you’re interested, go for it - we’d love to meet you.”

If you’re interested in applying to Farm Girl, you can find their latest job openings on the Farm Girl company page here.