Picture: Monty with roasted coffee beans for Protea Hotels by Marriott. Supplied.
Picture: Monty with roasted coffee beans for Protea Hotels by Marriott. Supplied.
Picture: Monty trains a barista at PH Victoria Junction Hotel. Supplied.
Picture: Monty trains a barista at PH Victoria Junction Hotel. Supplied.
Picture: Montys Academia launch-Paul Levine MD of Pureau Monty Biyela Andrew Towns Protea Hotels Daniel Davidson Pureau and Coral du Plessis COO of Pureau. Supplied.
Picture: Montys Academia launch-Paul Levine MD of Pureau Monty Biyela Andrew Towns Protea Hotels Daniel Davidson Pureau and Coral du Plessis COO of Pureau. Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - A woman who once applied for a waitress vacancy, now owns her own company and trains staff at Protea Hotels by Marriott to become baristas. 

Monty Biyela grew up in a financially underprivileged family, losing her father at just eight months old and being raised by her single mother in Johannesburg.

Despite aspiring towards a teaching career, her familial circumstance did not allow for tertiary studies. 

She then pursued a day job, starting out as a receptionist at a company that sold fire extinguishers. 

Later, Biyela tried to get a waitressing job at a local coffee shop chain however, there were no vacancies. 

This then led to the start of her barista career as she went on to accept a post as a barista. 

“I found that I was really good at it. I fell in love with being a barista", she said.

She put her skills to work at a coffee shop in Parkwood, Johannesburg. The owner then started a business called 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters. Biyela became the head barista trainer at 4th Avenue.

After a while, Biyela went on to start her own business as a barista trainer, going from door to door, training individuals on how to make a good cup of coffee. 

“I always knew I would end up teaching someday,” said Biyela. 

Since her training inception, Protea Hotels by Marriott has partnered with Puréau (a proudly Bidvest company) for the supply of 100% Arabica coffee beans and filter coffee roasted by 4th Avenue Coffee Roasters. 

As part of this supply, Protea Hotels by Marriott and Puréau have secured the skill and passion of Biyela to train all of the baristas at the various hotels.

She has already trained at 16 hotels, situated in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

“The idea now is to take Biyela’s training on a regular basis to all the hotels managed by Protea Hotels by Marriott,” says Group Procurement Manager, Andrew Towns.

In addition,  Protea Hotels by Marriott and Puréau has assisted Biyela to set up a training academy, Monty's Academia. 

“Our role has been to assist her with the legal requirements to establish the business, open bank accounts, and so on,” Towns explained. 

Monty’s Academia was registered earlier this year. 

Biyela expressed her gratitude for the support she has received. 

“Even my accommodation and flights are taken care of,” she said. 

She advises others to not give up on their dreams and how to improve their lives: 

“There is more to you than what you are right now. Don’t give up", concludes Biyela. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE