About | Sonwaro

About the founder

Johnson Sehoro is a multiple Gauteng Coffee Champion and Finalist in the SA Coffee Competitions and South African Barista trainer of the year 2018. Today, Johnson owns and runs his own coffee company, Sonwaro in Johannesburg, supplying coffee to top SA Companies and he runs the Ladha Barista Training Academy for deaf students.

From humble roots, working firstly as a gardener, Johnson steadily proved himself to be a hard worker and got a break into the coffee industry working as a barista. Through his determination and passion for coffee, he has risen to become one of the most respected and influential people in the South African Coffee scene.

Johnson has been in the coffee industry for 20 years. He started at the Brazilian Coffee group as a Coffee Roaster and then moved on to House of Coffees, where he spent time as a clerk, responsible mainly for dispatching and receiving stock, a very operational role but it taught him about the distribution side of the coffee world. From there, he moved to Wimpy (within the Famous Brands group) as their National Trainer based in JHBS

He spent 10 years in this role and he loved working with new coffee enthusiasts across the various functions – from back-of-house to front-of-house training. In 2004, he launched the Wimpy Premium Blend across 200 stores nationally. For this launch, he trained specifically on espresso and espresso equipment, but he also trained on other equipment that baristas and coffee-makers could use.

He then moved to Ciro in 2013 to grow more as a trainer as this company had what he needed.” I get to work with baristas and waiters across all industries which I find very exciting and I am glad to lend my skills towards.

I owe some thanks to those who have helped me along the way and have taught me much of where I started in this industry; Donato Bove and Pino Piconi who I worked with at Brazilian; and Roberto Monterege from Lavazza, as they taught me about roasting and all the basic skills you need to become a barista” says Johnson.

Our drive

We’re working to build a South African coffee culture and do our best to contribute to the global scene. As social entrepreneurs we are passionate about coffee and people, We are also driven by the very real social issues of our country’s unemployed youth and we’re committed to giving back tangible enterprise development Opportunities.

What we stand for

We are currently focused on crafting beautiful coffee blends for our customers. Supply and support businesses that wish to serve the best coffee they can. We want to make South Africa famous for good coffee. We source and buy the best coffee we can get a hold of, and we never stop asking ourselves how we can make it even better.