Employee Interview: Nathan Sami

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A new series by Skittle Lane. We interview our employees and get you behind the scenes, up-close and personal. Gain a new perspective of our cherished employees, their history with Skittle Lane, their unique lifestyles, and why they love coffee so much. Yes, we have lives outside of work and we’d love to get to know you too!

Our first interview is our beloved Nathan Sami @npsami

Hey Nathan! You’re the first one of us doing this interview. Let’s start with your history here at Skittle Lane Coffee. How long have you been around?


I joined the Skittle Lane Team just shy of two years ago back in May 2019. I’ve been working in specialty coffee on and off for 10 years.

Why’d you join the Skittle Lane team?

I was on the hunt to find a place which gelled with me and my approach to hospitality. Getting to know our owners Dean and Jodi really cemented it. Their attitude to service and their value of excellence in everything they do was exactly my thing: from the coffee, to the vibe, to the aesthetic of Skittle Lane. They are amazingly fun, friendly and warm individuals who I love working with.

What’s your role here at Skittle Lane? How do you approach your daily challenges?

I’m the cafe manager at our flagship store in Sydney’s CBD at 40 King St. My approach to my job is built around the words precision and excellence. It starts with your initial engagement with our shop through to your welcome, and then to your beverage. I want everything to be excellent for you. I ensure every drink we serve is delivered quickly, tastes delicious and is made with care. For our customers, it’s acknowledging the cafe as their space, whether that's space to chat and banter, or space to enjoy solitude with a hot drink and treat away from the office. My goal is that this is always seemingly effortlessly achieved through our whole team's attention to the little details.

What’s tough and what’s easy/your favourite part of the job?

The easiest part of my job are people: Good hospitality is about serving people! I love to connect, bring my best and make sure customers are looked after. 

A tricky part of my job is keeping all the plates spinning, and having the awareness to catch all of these plates. A cafe is made of many moving parts, wonderful suppliers and a cohesive team. I value and prioritise people first, which motivates me to make sure all the logistics of operating the cafe fall into place. This is always a challenge I relish.

What makes Skittle Lane different?

I've always appreciated the zero drama nature of our team, our workflow, our space, and our attitude to coffee and people. It flows down from the top with Dean and Jodes. I think there is a real warmth to everything that Skittle Lane does.


You’re one of the most active people we know. Tell us a bit more about what you do outside of work.

Active is definitely a part of who I am. I would struggle at a desk all day (and I have in the past!). After working on my feet all day moving a few steps here and there, I need to run: fast, far, and somewhere in nature. I love to run along the coastal walk post-shift at Bondi, or you may see me at Barangaroo or Circular Quay most arvos of the week. To balance it out, a bit of bouldering and a hot yoga sesh keep me happy.

Just recently I've helped set up a coffee machine at Rough Edges in Darlinghurst. It's a phenomenal service for the marginalised in our community offering hot food, a warm space, and now quality coffee. I'm there most Fridays slinging brews.  


Onto some easy questions. What are your top three things to do in Sydney?

- Walk/run the Coastal Walk from Bondi to Coogee.

- Visit any of the wonderful free galleries and museums. My favourite is the National Art Gallery and it just so happens to be on my walk to work each day.

- Brewery hopping through Marrickville. Always a good time.


What’s your favourite dining experience at the moment?

Since Covid my favourite dining experience is enjoying the Teriyaki Wagyu Bento from Enya Japanese in Kings Cross. I'm a bento addict and this place is a weekly fixture for me.


What are you excited about this year?

The world slowly opening up again, and me running everywhere, fast and often.


Last, definitely not least, and maybe the most important question there is: How do you drink your coffee?

Every way possible. My three bevvies on repeat each day are: a flat white, a spro and a batch brew. Pour overs are for days off.

This has been great Nathan. Thank you for your time today. Do you have one last thing to say to our readers?

It’s always a pleasure serving y'all everyday! I'm always up for a chat, especially if it's about coffee, running, or good places to eat!

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