Imbibe 75 People to Watch: Candice Madison - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 People to Watch: Candice Madison

Like many coffee pros, Candice Madison began her career in a coffee shop. Ten years later, she’s the director of roasting at The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room in Oakland, California, an ocean away from where she grew up. Her parents emigrated separately from Trinidad and Tobago to London, where they met and raised their family.

Madison’s introduction to coffee came from her dad’s mug. Back then, it was instant Nescafé, a far cry from the specialty beans she buys and roasts today. But she is quick to credit her own career advancement to the Black coffee pioneers who came before her, like Phyllis Johnson and Mbula Musau, and her courage to the women in her own family. “I don’t understand fear as a barrier,” Madison says. “I understand fear very much. I am scared all the time. But not as a barrier, because my curiosity always takes over.”

Madison has used her voice and influence to contribute to myriad events and initiatives that aim to amplify Black coffee professionals, including serving on the Specialty Coffee Association’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. She also currently serves as vice president for the newly created Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity. “My career advancement is merely a guiding light and placeholder for all of the Black women, Indigenous women, brown women, women of color—amazing women who are coming up behind and alongside me.”

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