Welcome to Skandl’s 1-on-1 series, where we give creatives and creative entrepreneurs in Amsterdam and beyond a spotlight. This time, we speak with Manage Every Little Cup (MELC) founder Veronic Leter about Amsterdam’s obsession with coffee and her efforts and put herself in her work.
Hey Veronic. What’s your history and why did you decide to embark on the MELC project?
In 2011 I started working as a barista in what was, at that time, one of the better coffee stores in Amsterdam. I was in my mid 20s, and had to learn a lot. At that time I was dreaming of starting my own company specializing in deserts, and saw this opportunity as a good starting point. I learned to be a good host and enjoyed the contact I had with my customers, who appriciated my personal touch.
Along the way I discoverd that coffee is not complete without a thick, full layer of foaming milk. I was always disapointed when I ordered a cappuccino and received an upgraded latte, this motivated me even to share my skills with colleaugues. This ultimately resulted in our store being voted best coffee store in the Netherlands in 2012 and ’13.
It was around that time that MELC was born, meaning: Manage Every Little Cup. I started to develop my concept, and give workshops in companies to people who were intrested and motivated, showed barista peers ways to improve, to be the host of their company, and to be and ambassador of the MELC platform.
What’s the philosophy behind the project?
Coffee is more than just “black gold”, it connects people, brings awareness, and an intense experience. MELC must become a platform, MELC must include a feeling of well beining, a movement where the consumer will share their feelings and that intensity, the same as she/he would experience watching a great art-dance performance, seeing his first Fellini movie, discovering her’s/his first photo exhibition by Jay Maisel, MELC must be the center of this new movement. MANAGE EVERY LITTLE CUP
Is this the first business you’ve established, and if so how are you liking it so far?
MELC is the second company I have started. My first was a food catering company, next to the company I worked at as a barista. I will put everything that I am into this company, when you see MELC you will drink your coffee you will hopefully see ME: joyful, energetic, sensitive, and strong. I hope MELC will stay an inspiration for me and that it will motivate others to Manage Every Little Cup
Coffee culture is booming in Amsterdam, why do you think that is?
Coffee is booming world wide, Amsterdam can be the center of this movement where different cultures are connecting, and you having the freedom of who you want to be will be celebrated.
As well as the training programme you also have your own range of coffee, and MELC will also operate as a sort of employment agency, why is it important for MELC to encompass the beginning, middle and end of the coffee process?
Every step in the process is important, when one step is a failure the result will be poor. It’s a part of my character, to be the best I can, to give the consumer what she/he deserves: those five minutes of absolute intence joy.
MELC will be a brand of quality; how to achieve this? I will share my knowledge my passion my love for coffee. When the consumer sees the MELC logo in the future they will know it’s ok, and time to enjoy.
You brought your mobile MELC bar to our MERGE FEST event a couple of months ago (thank you for that!), are there any plans to take it to any unusual locations in the future??
I hope, I will, everyday, anywhere, every location… In the cold, on a roof top… if I am standing next to my MELC booth I feel like I am QUEEN. I hope to see you all at the next one.
You’ve mentioned you want MELC to be an ‘interactive experience’ and one that collaborates with different types of creative people – how do you see this coming about, any plans in the pipeline yet?
When I think about Merge Fest, that is the feeling that MELC must stand for. I could not believe that my vision and idea of life had become a reality when I entered Spijkerkade that time. The energy, the people, being purely themselves. I want to be part of these environments and hope that that reality never disappears from Amsterdam. All those people who are pure, raw, and lovingly full of passion, they’re an almost forgotten group of people by they make Amstedam a special place which the whole world wants to be part of.