When Ricardo Xolisele Claasen (35) left home nine years ago to look for a job, he didn’t think he would find himself in a senior position at Africa’s largest food retailer a few years later. He wasn’t even sure about where to go, but serendipity led him to the Shoprite Group’s home office in Brackenfell, where he dropped off his CV in the hope that he would be considered for any vacancies.
- Ricardo Xolisele Claasen
His shot in the dark paid off and three months later, he started off as a shelf packer. Shortly afterwards, in 2011, Checkers opened its first coffee shop at the Checkers Hyper in Fairbridge Mall and Ricardo was asked to assist.
Checkers has since expanded its coffee shops in the Western Cape and throughout South Africa. Because of his passion for people and coffee, Ricardo was given the opportunity to oversee the coffee shops in the Western Cape.
In recognition of his efforts, the coffee shop at the Group’s home office was named after Ricardo, who has since been promoted to National Coffee Shop Specialist and today oversees the training of all new baristas at Checkers stores nationwide.
Checkers now has more than 175 coffee shops across the country and is considering expanding into other countries. Ricardo is excited by this prospect because he enjoys traveling and is looking forward to being part of the expansion.
When he’s not working, Ricardo unwinds by spending time with his newborn baby and girlfriend or going out with friends. He is also an avid reader and enjoys visiting coffee shops to ensure that he keeps up with industry trends.