Who We Are

Simon Wakefield

(Managing Director).

Simon first set foot in a coffee plantation when he was about six years old, being led by his father whilst on a family holiday. Since then his experience has covered training in a cocoa company with logistics for 2 years, 3 months on the London futures market (which has since morphed into the exchange as we see it now) and finally moving onto origin training in Papua New Guinea, firmly sealing coffee in his blood! 1986 was spent working at Rosemount Estate Wines in Australia before joining DRW in late 1986. Simon was one of the original creators of the SCAE and became the first UK Co-ordinator sitting on the first Board of Directors. He has served as a warehouse inspector for the Coffee Trade Federation of London. He is a trade arbitrator for both technical and quality claims with the British Coffee Association and past Arbitration & Contract Committee member.

Santiago Barahona

(Head Coffee Trader).

Santiago came from Ecuador to the UK in 2002 to complete his studies in agriculture and sustainability. His work  experience includes a range of agricultural development projects in Ecuador. He has worked in a well known London roaster where he honed his barista and cupping skills whilst completing his studies 2002. He joined the British Coffee Association panel of Arbitrators in 2011. Native Spanish speaker.

Priscilla Daniel  

 ( Coffee Trader)

Priscilla graduated in International Business (Dual Business Degree from Fort Lewis College,Colorado, USA) with Finance Major. Her coffee experience comes from time spent in Costa Rica working for a producer and exporter Co-operative in San Jose where she worked in many areas - cupping, certification, logistics and starting the microlot programme for the gourmet sector. Moreover she learned her  trading skills from the clothing industry in Paris for 2 years before she came back into the coffee sector in London in 2010. Native French speaker and fluent in Spanish. Certified "Q-Grader".

Philip Searle

(Coffee Trader)

Philip graduated from Harper Adams University College in Business Management with Marketing in 2012 and then joined DRW. During his studies he spent 1 year on work experience in Kenya and Tanzania with an exporter where he learnt about cupping and quality control, dry milling and management of the export warehouses. Certified "Q-Grader"



William Hobby

(Coffee Trader)

Will first got hooked on coffee after a passion for a life in Africa led him to undertake an industrial placement for a coffee exporter in Tanzania. After graduating from Harper Adams University College in 2007 with a Business Management and Marketing degree, he returned to Africa and worked as a coffee trader and then commercial manager for an exporter in both Kenya and Tanzania for over 7 years. Will joined us in February 2014.

Mantvydas Trainavicius (known as MT)

(Coffee Trader)

MT joined DRW in May 2013 directly from university in Lithuania where he studied and passed a Business Management degree. His key role is to help develop our business in Eastern Europe. MT spent the first 6 months working in the "selection room" with Derick to get a good understanding of quality - grading, roasting, cupping - before joining the trading desk in October 2013 as a trainee.  His native language is Lithuanian, but having spent 3 summers in England on work experience he is also fluent in English and has basic understanding of Russian.


Henry Clifford

(Coffee Trader)

Henry graduated with a Masters from the London School of Economics in October 2013 and has been working with us ever since. His fascination with coffee started during his time spent in Barcelona on his Erasmus year studying Politics & Philosophy. However, it wasn’t till back in London when he really started to explore the world of coffee. He set up a blog during his studies documenting London’s Coffee Culture and fell in love with the diversity and innovation of the coffee industry. October 2013 saw Henry join DRWakefield in the QA department learning all aspects of quality control before moving onto the trading desk in 2015, yet maintaining the social media side of DRW.

Nick Thompson

(Finance Director)

Nick is an economics graduate who qualified in 1983. With more than 15 years experience as a Finance Director in entreprenureal businesses, Nick brings a wealth of practical experience to DRW to assist the owners in their mid to long term stategy. Nick has worked at FD level in retail, restaurant, property and auctioneering sectors both in the UK and overseas with such companies as Conran Restaurants, The Conran Shop, Early Learning Centre and Bonhams Auctioneers.

Carol Fletcher

(Management Accountant - ACCA)

Carol's wealth of experience started in recruitment and manufacturing. She joined DRW in 2009 as part of our move to bring all aspects of Company finance in-house.


Thierry Akroman

(Quality Control Officer)

Food and Safety Control graduate with 10-years experience within the coffee industry, having worked for two major companies in the UK Fairtrade industry. First Twin Trading and then Cafedirect Plc where I have gained an all round knowledge of the coffee industry, from raw material purchase to finished goods. I am a certified Q-grader with a strong understanding of all aspects of quality surrounding the coffee supply chain (from farm to cup). I have also a good/relevant understanding of the cocoa quality process, fluent in French and basic Spanish within the working environment.”



Helen ShewanHelen Shewan

(Logistics Manager)

Joined DRW in June 2011 after some 20 years with Oddbins wine importers. The similarity with wine between production and consumption has been a great help. Helen manages the complete chain from pre-shipment bookings to delivering to the customer.

Adriana McKillop

(Logistics controller)

Adriana graduated from the University of Economics in Poznan, Poland with a degree in Finance & Banking. She gaindedover 2 years experience in imports and supply before moving to the UK. She joined DRW in 2007. Responsibilities cover stock control, shipments from origin, various certifications, and sales orders, preparation and deliveries to roasteries both in the UK and abroad. 

Chandni Mistry

(Logistics Controller)

I was born and bred in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. Studied at the University of Auckland where I obtained a Bachelors of Commerce, majoring in Economics and Operations Management. Since finishing Uni, I worked for a New Zealand freight company for 18 months working in both the logistics and Accounts receivable department. In July I made the big decision to migrate to the UK. I landed an opportunity to work at DR Wakefield in 2014 where I started working with both the Finance and Logistics teams. In 2015 i transferred wholy to the Logistics Department. I am loving this industry so far and am  looking forward to what coffee brings me…sorry I meant the future!....Remember a yawn is like a silent scream for coffee!

Leslie Frackowiak

(Logistics Controller)

Leslie has been working as an operation coordinator since she graduated with a Masters Degree in International Business in 2003 from the Université de Savoie in Chambery, France. She has worked in Collateral management at SGS, the world’s leading inspection company in Geneva and for Braid Logistics, a diversified logistic group in London mainly for the African and Asian markets.  Native French speaker but fluent in English and Spanish.

Gina WesselsGina Wessels

(Marketing Manager)

Gina graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Business Science (Honours) degree, majoring in Business Strategy and Information Systems. Pursuing her passion for brands and advertising she started her career in a full service family-run advertising agency in Johannesburg. Moving to the UAE, Gina joined Emirates Airlines Corporate Communications team where she was a key player in redefining their brand positioning before moving to the UK where she worked in fast-growing entrepreneurial businesses including Lebara Mobile and Research in Motion (BlackBerry). Gina joined DRW as part-time Marketing Manager in November 2011 bringing with her marketing experience across the full mix and a practical hands-on approach. Gina also works across a range of retail, hospitality and restaurant businesses..