A closure and networking event held at LOWE Dubai, on 3 November saw all
12 participants awarded completion certificates and a grand showcase of drinks created over the course of the program
December 2022, Dubai, UAE: Kerry and DaVinci Gourmet partnered with Evolvin’ Women to deliver an impactful CSR program training for 12 women to become baristas and mixologists of the future. Evolvin’ Women, a company signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, works with unemployed women from urban areas and less privileged economic backgrounds in Africa to acquire relevant industry skills and knowledge to secure jobs in the hospitality sector in the UAE. With this valuable international experience, the program empowers individuals to return to their home countries and support their local economies and communities.
The objective was for the participants to be certified as “Flavour Geniuses” with barista and mixologist skills. DaVinci Gourmet and Evolvin Women kickstarted this initiative in March 2022 on International Women Day, at a launch event where they hosted the founder of Evolvin’ Women Assia Riccio, programme director Greer MacLean and multiple partners who would consider job placements for the young women post the completion of the course. The list of partners are international giants in the FMCG space including Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Caribou, McDonalds, ICCA (International Centre of Culinary Arts), and Nightjar Coffee Roasters.
DaVinci Gourmet Flavour Geniuses Takudzwa Chibwe and Glenda Pataray ran an intensive 4-week training course through the year in Kerry’s Dubai-based DaVinci Gourmet Flavour Genius Academy. At the end of the beverage training all participants gained knowledge, skills, and confidence, and created their own signature recipe which was included in a final recipe book. All participants also received certifications upon completion of the program highlighting their new skill sets.
Mary Banda from Zambia commented, “I certainly feel that my skills and knowledge have improved after taking this training. At the beginning, I just had some ideas on how to make cocktails but now I am confident, I know the ingredients that go into a specific drink, and I know the art and science behind the drinks. I also learnt how to interact with different guests. This project helped me realize how passionate I am about food and beverage.”
Fahim Ariff, Sales Director of DaVinci Gourmet said, “I am extremely proud of the collaboration with Evolvin’ Women. Not only are we able to develop the skills of these women but we are able to help them drive entrepreneurship in their home countries. The beverage industry is highly dependent on the availability of skilled staffing. Our plan is to use the network of flavor genius’s we have within the team to help our partners get access to skilled staff where possible, training materials through various platforms and well as best-in-class trainers to ensure their beverages on menu are of the highest quality. It is a challenge to all of us in the industry to promote diversity in the workforce. The creativity and skill shown by the ladies who have completed the program this year shows that it is possible to develop skilled female talent in the industry.”
With the close of a successful inaugural training program and the women under continued mentorship, Kerry will continue to partner with Evolvin’ Women in 2023 with a new intake of candidates.