Coffee lovers far and wide, we’ve got some news that’s sure to bring smiles to your faces. We’re incredibly excited to welcome Jodie Williams, a celebrated Team GB athlete and all-round inspiration, onto the Union team as our new brand ambassador.
Jodie is one of the UK’s most accomplished and decorated sprinters in athletics history, a 2016 Olympian and one of the fastest females in British history. It’s not only her natural talent that has got Jodie where she is today but her resilience and dedication to what she does as well.
This undeniable drive that Jodie exhibits on the track and in training is matched with her relentless care and vigour for life outside the track, too. Jodie perfectly marries her interests and passions with her platform to make an impact in wider society behind causes she really believes in. She’s an ambassador for The Allegra Foundation’s Initiative, Project Waterfall, and Femlead, a charity empowering young women to reach their full potential in Uganda; a creative fashion blogger, and of course, a bona fide coffee lover.
From day one until today and going forward, Union has and always will follow the principle of seeking better livelihoods for coffee producers. Jodie’s natural interest in coffee, care and consciousness for the world around her and determination in everything she does, makes the partnership between us and Jodie, the perfect union.
So, enough from us. We spoke to Jodie about working together, the love of coffee and why it’s important to her. Check out our interview below:
Where does your passion for coffee come from?
Growing up, my Dad was always drinking coffee. Every morning he’d head out to a coffee shop and I remember I’d always go with him to a coffee shop on the weekends when I wasn’t at school. My house always smelled of coffee and he had a fancy coffee machine – so I grew up with it around me.
For a while I didn’t like coffee, but I did like coffee shops and felt like I was missing out on that whole experience. But it was my friend who kick started my love for coffee – I started drinking Vanilla Iced Lattes, then moved towards flat whites, but now I just drink black coffee. I got really into it, found there was a whole coffee community and I’ve called it home ever since.
What attracted you to this partnership and why Union?
A partnership with Union fits in perfectly with everything I’ve been working towards over the last few years, so it’s a super exciting partnership for me. I’ve really delved into the coffee industry and it’s a big part of my life now, but also with my plans for the future.
Union are a UK brand, with a big heart for people and community which also holds an important place in my heart! I love their focus on ethical sourcing and working with the coffee growing communities in the right way. Of course, Union’s speciality coffee is also amazing and you can tell they take real care and pride in the quality of coffee produce for their customers.
Also, both myself and Union support the charity Project Waterfall, who help provide clean water to coffee growing communities - which is a really great synergy too.
What is your favourite Union coffee and favourite way of brewing it?
Recently I’ve really gotten into Guatemalan coffee, due to the really nice flavour they have.
Union have two Guatemalan coffees – Liberacion, a single origin, and their limited edition Obler Martinez microlot. I really like the smoothness of the coffees I’ve had from Guatemala, and they're not too acidic.
My favourite brewing method would be a V60 or Chemex which in my opinion feels like one of the purer brewing methods.
Is coffee-drinking purely for pleasure or do you link it to your athletic training?
I’d say it’s for both, but probably more so for pleasure, I love the whole experience. I really like routine, so I've incorporated making coffee into my every day.
It is also structured around training too - I usually have two cups in the morning before training. Though I think caffeine doesn’t have too much impact on me these days as I drink so much coffee, but I certainly link it in when I compete too.
What are you really hoping to learn about with Union?
Union provides me a great opportunity to get deeper into the coffee industry.
After I finish my sporting career, I’m definitely looking to open a coffee shop – so I’d love to learn more about coffee from ethical sourcing and roasting to barista training and brewing tips.
I love the Union masterclasses! And I’d also love to visit some of the coffee-growing communities one day too.
What causes close to your heart are you hoping this platform will help you defend and voice?
Helping and supporting communities around the world is a big thing for me – especially women and girl’s rights and livelihoods.
I’d love to learn more about Union’s ethical sourcing and how they support and work with their farmers. I also know through Project Waterfall how much of an impact coffee growing can have on women – and I know Union is really passionate about these areas too!
Together, I’m sure we will help amplify important values that we both share.
You're very involved in the coffee scene already. What is next or the ultimate coffee-related goal?
I launched my own podcast called Coffee Conversations, where I speak to inspirational women who are doing amazing things in their lives – I’m sure you’ll see more of this throughout the partnership with Union.
But my ultimate coffee related goal is to open a coffee shop! Whenever I travel I also seek out coffee shops, because they feel like home to me. I have a vision about what my coffee shop will be… all about community and wellness!
So it’s all very exciting and I definitely have some plans in the coffee scene – but it’s incredible to build this partnership with Union and I hope that we can inspire and share the love of coffee to many others!