A familiar face to Surry Hills locals and Sydney’s bustling coffee scene, Linda Maksic is known for her charm, warm hospitality and eagerness to talk about all things coffee. Manager of Veneziano Coffee Roaster’s Sydney flagship, Linda has taken the lead to train a new generation of baristas with a back-to-basics approach to the art of specialty coffee.
Bathed in light with delicious range of pastries on offer and a custom Linea PB ABR stationed at the counter, the Sydney flagship is the perfect place to pause and unwind amongst the bustling activity of the inner city. Leading a team who is equally as passionate about coffee and offering top hospitality, Linda reflects that her approach stems from the important lessons she was given when finding her way in the world of hospitality.
Growing up, Linda was always drawn to the fast paced, social and rewarding nature of the hospitality industry. Wanting to gain experience in all roles at her local café, she naturally fell into the role of barista and was taken by the methodical and detailed approach behind pouring the perfect espresso. Delving deeper into the coffee scene by tasting different blends and origins, she still remembers drinking her first cup of coffee that was packed with punchy flavours and notes.
“I then realised that coffee isn’t a flavour, it has flavour.”
Throughout her career, Linda has seen many changes to the coffee scene, such as the evolution of equipment. From learning to pour espresso at a time where the dose and extraction weren’t weighed to today, where the brew ratio is customised and programmed into her machine, one value has always remained imperative to her, perfecting the basics.
“A challenge for aspiring baristas is not perfecting the basics before moving on to more technical methods.”
When training her staff, Linda focuses on perfecting the basic elements of dosing, tamping and pouring an espresso to ensure that the café is continuously serving consistent and delicious coffee. Whether it be their signature blends, single origins or exclusive pinnacle series, Linda wants to ensure her customers are engaged and satisfied.
Reflecting on what advice she would give to her young self, Linda shared that she would tell herself to try everything and not be afraid to ask questions. In a world where everyone has their own journey of learning, Linda sees everyone’s perspective to be valuable, especially those who have been in the industry for a notable period of time.
For like-minded women and hospitality enthusiasts looking to get involved in the industry, Linda expresses that importance of knowing and understanding your personal worth is the key to success, while also “sharing the love” and giving fellow peers in the industry the tools to grow, prosper and succeed.
Aside from training her stellar team and servicing the local Surry Hills community, the Veneziano Sydney team are currently planning to open up their Sydney space to more interactive events as we move back to a COVID-safe routine.
To find out more about Veneziano Coffee Roasters, their Sydney flagship and upcoming events, visit their website.