Panelist, Broads in a Bro’s World
Momiji Kishi was born and raised in Nagano, Japan. She grew up in customer-oriented hospitality, from the age of nine in her parents’ bed and breakfast, with exposure from a young age to international cultures. She was a competitive downhill and freestyle skier in Japan, and carried on competing when she went to the U.S. to study for her university degree in Kinesiology in Illinois and Nevada. Moving to Toronto in 2001, Momi was always a “foodie,” but didn’t focus on coffee until she discovered the “third wave” coffee movement during an extended stay in Sydney, Australia in 2005. Returning to Toronto wondering why she could no longer get terrific coffee, Momi searched out ways to reproduce that experience. The first ever employee at Toronto’s legendary Dark Horse Espresso Coffee Shop, she was Barista and Manager there for five years, experimenting with different coffee beans, roasts, equipment and preparations. True to her nature, she started competing as a Barista in Canada, winning the Eastern Canada and Central Canada competitions in 2009 and 2011. She moved from Dark Horse to Detour Roasters in Dundas, Ont. as Quality Assurance/Trainer and chief liaison between the roasters and the clients, helping to choose green beans, roast and blend. Putting this all into practice as Beverage Manager at Nadège for two years, she then opened up her own coffee shop in 2016. As owner/operator of HotBlack Coffee (located at Queen St. West & University Ave. in Toronto), she strives daily to produce consistently world-class and innovative drinks in a service-oriented professional environment — and has won accolades around the world in the international press.