Position: Associate Food Scientist

Torani Team Member Since 2018

Have you ever wondered how Torani develops its delicious flavors? Meet Stephanie, Torani’s Associate Food Scientist. Through her love for espresso and her passion for flavor, Stephanie develops the Torani flavor that you know and love. We met with Stephanie to learn about her experience at Torani and why she loves being a Torani team member.

Who is Stephanie Brooks?

What is your role at Torani?

I’m an Associate Food Scientist.

How did you come to work at Torani?

I just moved from Kansas and I was looking for jobs at a coffee shop. I saw an ad for a food science internship, I applied and I got it. After my internship ended, I was eventually offered a full-time position and now I’m here.

What was the internship like?

It was great! I got to work with a variety of flavor projects and helped a lot with sensory tests. I learned a lot and it eventually led to me joining the team full time.

Do you think you're any different now than before you started working here?

I definitely think about flavors differently. I didn’t think a lot about how my lattes and sodas were flavored before. It was never really something that I noticed but now everywhere I go I’m like “Oh there’s flavor in this! What type of flavor did they use? What type of flavor are they trying to bring to life?” I break down my drinks more than I used to.

What are you drinking these days? Which flavor is your favorite right now?

I use a lot of our flavors in cocktails. I used to be a bartender in college so right now I’ve been making a lot of Mojitos. Last weekend I made a Blood Orange Mojito because I really love Blood Orange Syrup. I also use Blood Orange a lot in Sodas. For coffee drinks, I’m really into Candied Sesame right now.

 

“I definitely think about flavors differently. I didn’t think a lot about how my lattes and sodas were flavored before.”

 

Her Role at Torani

What do you like most about your position?

Experimenting with flavors and flavor combinations. When you’re working in product development you get to make some really good ones and sometimes make some really bad ones. You have some duds but we have many good ones most of the time. My position lets me be creative and I really enjoy that.

What have you felt to be the most rewarding part of your job?

Getting a project and letting it be yours and seeing it grow. You can see it change over time and it’s kind of your baby. Torani puts a lot of focus on building their people and having them run projects from soup to nuts.  Other places, they would micromanage everything but here, it’s your project and they trust you. There’s a lot of trust which I appreciate.

What's your relationship like with your team?

Working with the team is great! I have a great relationship with my manager Julie. She definitely trusts me and I trust her. She doesn’t micromanage me and allows me to take on projects. It’s a very trusting relationship and that’s a really great relationship to have with your manager.

Where do you picture yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years or so, I’d like to be here at Torani. Still in R&D and hopefully a food scientist! In school, I learned about a bunch of principles and it’s all in pieces. Torani has helped me put everything together into one big picture. Having my manager Julie guide me and give me leadership skills allowed me to see the big picture. I can still use my food science background to put it all together.

 

Her Perspective

What is so special about working here?

I worked at a large company before and you get lost in the company. Sometimes you don’t even see your manager and sometimes you don’t even know who is in your department until you’re at a meeting together. That was my experience at a larger food company. Over here, I get to interact with the CEO and she asks about my day. I get to know more people in the company and I get to interact with people in different departments and talk to them. You get to know people that you wouldn’t have met in a larger company.

What do you find motivating about working for a company like Torani?

Definitely the people and the atmosphere. Everyone is energetic and you never come across someone who doesn’t want to be here so that makes you happy to be here. Also the unlimited espresso shots. In R&D we get to play around with our food so it’s fun.

“I get to know more people in the company and I get to interact with people in different departments and talk to them.”

What’s been your favorite team event here? Why?

I’ve only been here since last year but I think going to San Leandro to see our new building was pretty cool. It was cool to see our new space. Also going to the banquet after and listening to stories of people that have been here for a long time. Town Halls are a lot of fun!

If you could do anyone else's job in the company for a day- who's would it be and why?

It would be fun to be in Marketing. I work with sensory and consumer science so I think it would be fun to go through the marketing point of view. It would be cool to find the new up and coming beverages or new flavors. Similar to Andrea’s job. Andrea has a cool job with all of the insights!

What about Torani's future excites you?

I think the company launching the natural line really excites me. It opens up a lot of and lets us be more creative and think strategically about our processing.