Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Stitch Coffee’s Nawar Adra

This week, we caught up with Nawar Adra, founder and director of Stitch Coffee, to find out how he’s been faring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are you reading?

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

What are you watching?

Wild Wild Country

What are you listening to?

I normally listen to coffee podcasts like the Specialty Coffee Association Podcast to keep up with changes and trends.

What are you cooking?

I’m currently learning how to make pastries at home. Other than that, I mainly cook Italian and Lebanese fusion – stuffed eggplant with Lebanese halloumi cheese and herbs with Italian tomato sauce is one of my favourites.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

Stretching in the morning and going for an afternoon run has been very helpful during COVID times. Other than that, we are working almost seven days a week to provide Stitch’s fans with their daily coffee rituals, which keeps me busy.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the coronavirus hit?

I believe COVID has shifted coffee consumption more towards home brewing, which is exciting. I never thought coffee would be so popular online until facing this pandemic. We realised that consumers are not afraid to trust our roaster’s notes and selections. That level of consumer trust in the coffee industry has finally made me feel that I really made the right decision to be part of this community.

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

I learned so much more about myself that I would not have acknowledged before. My ability to maintain calm and responsive to the changes around us has surprised me. I believe being innovative in a crisis is what will help the industry to survive and continue striving.

Investing in ‘ready to brew’ products such as coffee drip bags and steeped coffee was a great decision for us at Stitch, with more customers working from home and looking for a convenient offering. Making specialty and ethically-sourced coffee as easy as commercial instant coffee is the future for our industry in order for us to continue thriving and engaging new customers.

What’s your advice for others in the industry on coping with the crisis?

I think keeping your head straight, rather than down all the time, and doing business as usual. The industry needs to have an open-minded approach and not be afraid of trying new things. It’s really incredible to be a part of the specialty coffee niche, which is currently less than 10 per cent of the coffee market.

We know that we can’t rely solely on wholesale and or retail – it’s important to find ways to reach new markets. Convenient brewing and ‘ready to brew’ products are new ways for the industry to ensure our products are reaching consumers at home, as well as in travel, leisure and lifestyle. Looking beyond the routine and being responsive with a stewardship approach is invaluable.

Where is your favourite domestic travel destination?

Since I moved to Australia, most of my time has been spent in Sydney and Melbourne, which is one of my favourite places. I would love to see more of Australia, but I believe there are so many beautiful places in this country, so it will always be hard to pick just one.

What is the one international travel memory keeping you going through this time?

The last time, when I took my partner to visit my home city, Tripoli, in Lebanon. It was fascinating to take someone originally from Korea to Lebanon, especially while the demonstrations were happening. Back home, we don’t have many Asian tourists visiting, so playing host in my hometown with them was an exceptional experience in seeing how people reacted.

Where do you want to travel to once international travel restrictions ease up?

I really want to travel to Istanbul again. I went there when I was 15 years old, and I don’t think I was able to understand and discover the magnificent city enough. It’s on the top of my list to go back to Istanbul and truly experience it now as an adult with a different perspective.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Give your clients a taste of Wabi-sabi with InsideJapan’s new cultural journey

Don’t worry; the new trip doesn’t involve eating loads of that little green paste that comes with your sushi, that’s WASABI, not Wabi-sabi. However, if that’s your thing we won’t stop you.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Welsh hotel cops criticism for charging almost $400 for access to its bar

The hotel owner said he introduced the fee because he was tired of finding strangers in his garden, which is the most Welsh thing we’ve ever read.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

This tourism ad is so weird and trippy, it’ll have you declaring “WTF did I just watch?”

Did you perhaps take an ecstasy tablet in your misspent youth? Travel Weekly warns this ad could bring it back on 15 years later.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Sabre’s Nicole Regel promoted to regional role

Travel Weekly understands Nicole Regel is eyeing the IKEA JÄRVFJÄLLET leatherette swivel chair in charcoal after her recent promotion.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

P&O extends Aussie cruise pause, as Pacific Adventure emerges from dry dock

Don’t let the headline fool you; this article also contains some uplifting cruise news to give sail-savvy agents a little Friday boost.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Travel industry veteran takes “black sheep” approach to help brands navigate COVID landscape

Trish Shepherd, the mastermind behind this new company, has assured us it’s got nothing to do with agricultural practices, as we first imagined.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“A wonderful spectacle”: Spain’s Tourism Minister suggests using catastrophic volcanic eruption to attract visitors

The country’s Tourism Minister is in hot water after she appeared to propose using a volcanic eruption that has destroyed hundreds of homes to lure tourists to the Canary Islands.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: Flight attendant promises to annoy passengers who don’t wear a mask

As you can imagine, the comment section on this TikTok user’s video was… divided, to say the least.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourism Minister says international borders will reopen by Christmas “at the latest”

by Ali Coulton

Dan Tehan has urged states to stick to the national plan and encouraged Aussies to “roll up their sleeves”.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

IHG’s Leanne Harwood elected first-ever female president of the Accommodation Association

Hospo industry veteran Leanne Harwood is back in the headlines, and this time it’s about her very deserving new role.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Passenger claims flight attendant told her to glue a mask to her distressed toddler’s face

A mother has taken to social media to call out a flight attendant who she claims gave her a rather distressing ultimatum.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Strong take-up of AFTA membership continues

If the current demand for AFTA membership is anything to go by, there’s a lot of confidence that agents can clear the remaining pandemic hurdles.

Share

CommentComments