When he joined Park Inn Hotel Kigali by Radisson Hotels in January this year, Emmy Cyuzuzo Omar committed to doing his best to gain more skills to not only advance his career in the hospitality sector but also to serve to full satisfaction the hotel's clientele.
To do this, he had to find a niche, and he found this in specialty coffee.
With the support of the hotel's management, he started to horn skills in brewing high-quality coffee and as a result, he recently emerged runner-up among the top three baristas in the just-concluded GoldenBaristaRw2019 Championship.
The contest was organized by the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The initiative aimed at contributing towards enhancing skills of Rwandan baristas to become more professional and brew quality and great-tasting coffee beverages and this will ultimately increase local consumption of Rwandan coffee, hence the growth of the sector.
The grand finale had 20 contesting baristas of whom the top three were selected and Cyuzuzo, the barista from Park Inn Hotel emerged the first runner-up.
Before joining the final contest, they underwent an intensive boot camp that focused on preparing coffee that meets international standards, which was facilitated by the 2011 World Barista Champion, Alejandro Mendez from El Salvador.
He was later to lead the jury for the grand finale.
Park Inn Hotel's Cyuzuzo started his carrier in the hospitality sector as a waiter, then became a bartender mixing cocktails before joining Park Inn Hotel.
He said he started to prepare coffee by using the single espresso machine and when he realized that many people liked the coffee he brewed, he put more effort in exploring, exercising and visiting many coffee shops and restaurants to learn.
Motivated by Park Inn Hotel
The mixologist said he got inspired a lot when he joined Park Inn by Radisson, Kigali, saying that he got much support from the management of the facility.
"Our General Manager helped me with making the right choice. He told me that if I could dedicate my time to coffee brewing, I would become a good barista and that is where I started following this passion," he said.
He emphasized that being bartender or barista requires a passion for it.
"It has been just months since I became a professional barista at this hotel and I am already doing well in national competitions. This is because I have passion for it and I have a supportive employer," said Cyuzuzo.
He thanked the hotel management for the several training opportunities to which he has been seconded which he said have equipped him with good skills in preparing coffee.
"Within just four months at this hotel, I have grown to become the barista of choice for clients and to me that is really an honor for me. I remain as ambitious as ever to compete as a barista at the global level," he said.
He noted that emerging the best in the competition is a big opportunity for him and the hotel.
"It means that clients who come to this hotel will have more trust in the quality of our coffee, just like other services," he said.
He said that at Park Inn Hotel, he serves over 100 orders for coffee per day.
The General Manager at Park Inn, Bernard Theron said that it means a lot for the hotel to see its staff succeed and it is one way for them to gauge the impact of their skills development program.
"We as Park Inn Kigali strive to grow all our staff; to give them a better future and career growth, and seeing the performance and outcome of this training through a gentleman like Emmy is increasingly motivating," said Theron.
According to Amr Mahdy, the Food and Beverages Manager at the hotel said that Cyuzuzo is a favorite among their guests, with amazing reviews mentions his service through various online platforms.
"He always has a smile on his face and is quick to assist the guests. Here at Park Inn by Radisson Kigali, we strive to deliver memorable moments every day, everywhere, every time."