We’re fortunate to have team made up of incredible humans at Royal Coffee. In honor of National Women’s Month, we are featuring some of them here, and sharing a little bit about what they do here and some life advice.

Berit Carlson headshot

Berit Carlson

Accounting, On and off since 1989

Favorite Coffee: Yemen Mocha

A typical day at work: Look at reports and invoices making sure the billing is complete. I also help sales with invoicing and credits and answers any questions they or their customers might have.

A favorite thing about what you do here: The people I work with in accounting, it is a really nice group.

An advice to 18-year-old self: If you have a dream, make it happen no matter what others might think. It might take time, even years, but in the end the happiness that it brings will stay with you forever.

Alexandra Fritzler headshot

Alexandra Fritzler

Outbound Traffic Supervisor, 19 years with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: Costa Rica and Ethiopia, the fruitier the better.

A typical day at work: A typical workday includes communication with the Outbound team and our warehouse, checking and responding to emails, and categorizing shared emails for proper handling by our team members. I often work on inventory management, monthly inventory reconciliation, project work with other team leaders, investigate inventory issues and instruct the appropriate fix, and focus on daily shipping tasks for all of our warehouse locations, while being available to my team as needed. I end the day by ensuring all ship orders have been processed correctly, all pertinent shipping documents have been received and forwarded to the correct warehouse, and running a daily ship order report to ensure the Oakland warehouse has received all their order and the next day’s load out report to ensure the warehouse properly stages them for pick up.

A favorite thing about what you do here: Some days can be harder than others but no matter what I always feel accomplished at the end of the day! We have a great team of incredibly smart and hardworking people. We always get it done.

An advice to 18-year-old self: Be adventurous but plan for your future, continue your education, travel and always believe in yourself!

Melissa Holland Headshot

Melissa Holland

Accounts Payable, 10 years in May with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: It’s so hard to choose! I really enjoy the Kenya microlots and the Central American washed coffees, specifically Mexico Chiapas and Guatemala Huehuetenango.

A typical day at work: I work from home mostly so I start my day early, around 6:00 AM, and get the wire transfers to our suppliers entered while the house is quiet and I can focus on all the little details. Then I work on reading and answering emails, examining shipping documents, and entering information into our accounting system throughout the day.

A favorite thing about what you do here: I’ve worked in coffee most of my life. My first job out of college was with McLaughlin Coffee, working for Bob’s cousin, Mike. I’ve also worked as a barista and cafe manager before coming to Royal Coffee to experience the importing side of the business. I love that we have established relationships with producers around the world and that I get to communicate with them regularly and make sure they’re paid on a timely basis. I’ve met so many interesting people through this company. Royal Coffee is a family that feels like home.

An advice to 18-year-old self:You are enough. Trust your instincts. People won’t treat you with respect until you learn to respect yourself. Don’t settle for less than you deserve and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is short. Make time to enjoy the big things and the little things. Be bold, make your own experiences, and remember to breathe through the tough times. You’re going to be OK.

Jodi Louws headshot

Jennifer Huber

Director of Operations, almost 23 years with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: So many great options out there, but I’ll always love a cup of a washed Ethiopian.

A typical day at work: Every day’s a new adventure, but I typically work with the various departments to troubleshoot problems and plan for the future.

A favorite thing about what you do here: The people. I love the people I work with at Royal: I think we just have the best team who cares about coffee and cares about the world. Bonus that they’re smart and funny and fun. And we have so many amazing customers and suppliers that I’ve had the privilege of working with for years now.

An advice to 18-year-old self: Ask for, and accept offers for, help. It turns out many people actually like to help, so you’ll be making them happy and doing yourself a favor.

Jodi Louws headshot

Jodi Louws

Inbound Traffic Manager, 9 years in April with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: A Kenyan Auction Lot is a star for a special occasion. Most often I’ll be drinking a Colombian or Central American washed coffee to power my daily routine.

A typical day at work: I start my day by logging in from my home in Oakland at 6:30 am. I greet my team on Teams chat and review items in my 3 inboxes. We have an inbound inbox managing shipping instructions, bookings, and documents, and an arrivals inbox managing shipments arriving at the port, customs entry, drayage, and warehousing. Around 8 am, I take a half-hour break to bring my youngest son to school. I return, make a cup of coffee, and settle in for the projects of the day. Lately, we have been planning some unusual shipments through Los Angeles, preparing to move to our new warehouse, and completing the annual audit. Once or twice a week, I work from our office in Emeryville.

A favorite thing about what you do here: In 2025, I will have worked in the green coffee trade for 20 years. I appreciate how much I’ve learned and experienced on this one subject, and it hasn’t grown dull or stopped offering a challenge. I enjoy developing the skills and expertise of my team, whether the question is an application of contract terms, establishing quality storage procedures, or managing imports challenged by pandemics, war, and drought. I’m only an expert on this one subject, importing green coffee, and surely every product in the world can’t be as complex and interesting as this.

An advice to 18-year-old self: That’s a tough one. At 18, I really believed women were equal in the world and we were past all old-fashioned notions otherwise. I’ve gained a lot of maturity since then. Give yourself grace and dig into happiness and peace when you find it. Vote for more women in office; vote for shorter work weeks; vote for childcare funding. With great efforts from men and women alike, we can move closer to the equality you believe in.

Caitlin McCarthy-Garcia headshot

Caitlin McCarthy-Garcia

Junior Trader; Q Grader, 3 years with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: Depends on mood. I also love a good Oolong and aromatic black teas.

A typical day at work: On any given day, I am talking with customers, making recommendations, sending samples and selling coffee. Depending on the time of year and where we are in the harvest, I’m cupping offer samples from Kenya and Ethiopia suppliers, as well as elsewhere in East Africa. That leads to contract negotiations and finalization of these purchases. It’s a lot of work but very rewarding. I work with our marketing team to support these purchases by shooting marketing videos as well. Last year I coordinated a special holiday blend and cupper’s delight blend with a colleague, which was truly a fun project.

A favorite thing about what you do here: Tasting, sourcing and buying, and finding a good home for those coffees.

An advice to 18-year-old self: There are going to be obstacles and challenges, but enjoy yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and put your energy where it’s most deserved.

Grace Torres headshot

Grace Torres

Trading Assistant, 5 years with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: Free Coffee

A typical day at work: Working from home results in some overlap with Home Life. My work day only, involves Price fixations for Suppliers and Customers, completing coffee purchasing contracts and updating/correcting any discrepancies that arise from fixations or Purchasing contracts.

A favorite thing about what you do here:  My favorite thing is continuously learning the coffee commodity world. I enjoy the check and balances part of it and the closing of each position. I have “something” to look forward to at every position roll. Enjoying my job has mostly to do with my team! Alex Mason has been the best mentor and I am grateful to learn from him daily.

An advice to 18-year-old self: My 18-year-old self would probably not listen to anything I have to say. But I can look back and say that my 18-year-old self could not have imagined nor planned a better life.

Chantel Slaughter headshot

Chantel Slaughter

Customer Service Representative, 2.5 year with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: Uganda Mountain Harvest is at the top of my list

A typical day at work: Where do I start, first thing a much-needed cup of coffee 🙂 Read and respond to email correspondences, and chat messages, and ensure all orders are placed before warehouse cut-off times. Assist the trading team when needed (which is often). Cup pre-ship and arrival coffees are fun and can be challenging lol. But overall, I am the gatekeeper of customer service-related inquiries. I ensure the wheels are turning lol My motto is TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK.. true statement.

A favorite thing about what you do here: Learning new things every single day. tasting awesome coffee from around the world, and the hustle of selling coffee

An advice to 18-year-old self: Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those that wait. Not everything is meant to be rushed. If I would have slowed down, I probably would have made better life choices.

Laurel Wirth headshot

Laurel Wirth

Sales Ops Analyst & Data Manager, Almost 14 years with Royal Coffee

Favorite Coffee: I don’t have a set favorite. I love the variety that the world of coffee offers!

A favorite thing about what you do here: The people side of things. Connecting with clients, vendors, and coworkers.

An advice to 18-year-old self: Dive in! Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right. (I have this quote taped to my desk)