When Melanie Marken entered the world of coffee and tea, she wasn’t simply accepting an offer to oversee national sales for a specialty coffee roaster. “My career is rooted in the food business, and coming to a premium coffee roaster was very much a home-coming for me,” she explains. Melanie, who is passionate about all things coffee and tea, developed her expertise at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, and then brought that knowledge to Sun Coffee Roasters. With a stop in between at premium foods manufacturer, Monsoon Kitchens, where she also oversaw sales to large national accounts, and managed relationships within Business and Industry, Healthcare and Higher Education clients. Now, on the business development side at UK based Costa Coffee, part of the Global Ventures division at Coca Cola, Melanie continues to share her passion for coffee, while providing technology based solutions with Costa’s Smart Cafes.
Melanie has spent her 25-plus year career in the food business. It’s an almost inevitable professional trajectory for the daughter of a regional grocery distributor. After graduating from Elmira College, Melanie took a position with the Star Market supermarket chain, and was assigned to their natural foods division. As the industry evolved toward organic and naturally sourced products, Melanie acknowledged – both as a businessperson, and as a consumer – the good sense it made to offer whole foods to larger markets. The decision to follow the premium food and beverage path was driven equally by a personal alignment with industry trends and the opportunity to be part of its exciting growth.