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When opportunity knocks: Sihle’s Brew part 2

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Adcorp presents Sihle’s Brew part 1: Overcoming adversity

“My friend called me one day to tell me that there was an opportunity to work for three days at a festival in Hilton, KZN. I jumped at any opportunity to make extra money at the time as we needed all the help we could get.”

As fate would have it, it was at this very festival where Sihle found his calling.

“I was introduced to real, natural coffee for the first time. I tasted my first cappuccino and couldn’t sleep for three days!” Sihle chuckled, “But that creaminess, the flavour; I fell in love.”

After the three days, Sihle’s friend went back to Johannesburg and he stayed behind in Durban.

What really shines through in every interaction with Sihle and any of his employees is that he has an incredible work ethic, and so it’s no surprise that his friend’s boss, Roberto offered him a job in Johannesburg.

“He said to me that if I wanted to relocate and work for him in Johannesburg that the offer was on the table.”

Sihle decided that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity and so he left for Johannesburg shortly after matriculating in 2003.

“In those days you had to look for your name in the paper to see if you had matriculated, so I had to actually go and buy a paper to find out.”

Sihle found his name in the paper and went back to Durban to get his statement and fetch his certificate.

“I was working at Café Gallini in Bright Water Common when I had to go back, I think it’s Republic on Main now.”

He was also working as a barista at the Pick n Pay there.

“I remember earning R1250 a month when I worked at Bright Water Common. I did this for nearly a year before getting a job working as a promotor.”

In his new role, Sihle travelled all over Johannesburg to Pick n Pays and Checkers promoting coffee. It was through this job that he met a businessman from Cape Town and found himself with another opportunity to grow in his grasp.

“It must have been in 2005, because I remember that I’d just gotten my driver’s licence.”

He recalls the businessman saying, “You know Sihle, we’re opening a new concept store in Pick n Pay and I’ve seen you working promoting coffee. The people love everything that you do. I’d like you to interview for this project.” This was at the time that Pick n Pay was introducing their fresh sushi counter as well.

On the day of the interview, there was a massive thunderstorm in Cape Town and all flights were delayed. After waiting for what felt like endless hours, the flight landed in OR Thambo and they headed to Fourways for the interview.

“After the interview,” Sihle added, “he said immediately, “I want you to come and work for us. How long is your notice period?” I said three weeks. “In three weeks I would like to see you back for training.”

Before long Sihle was jet setting to the Pick n Pay head office in Cape Town for training.

Armed with his new skills, Sihle began opening all of the concept stores for Pick n Pay and after five edifying years working for them, another opportunity presented itself.

“I made the decision to leave Pick n Pay for my passion. I wanted to make my own coffee.”

He was and still is incredibly grateful for the experience he gained working with Pick n Pay, but joining Ciro directly enabled him to begin building his dream and provided an opportunity to gain experience working directly with coffee.

Read next:

Adcorp presents Sihle’s Brew part 3: Dream big

About Adcorp

Across the Group we have a number of end-to-end workplace solutions solving a wide range of business challenges. We search, place, develop, train and manage people for temporary and permanent job opportunities. We also supply people resources on an outsourced basis and manage people-intensive processes on behalf of our clients. Our mission is to build workplaces and careers of the future by transforming the places we work in. We do this by connecting potential.

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