Family run

From our humble beginnings in 2005 to our status today as a global business and brand, red espresso remains a small group of family and friends made up of ex-corporates and entrepreneurs. 

Our mix of passion and professionalism combined with our willingness to attempt the seemingly impossible has helped win red espresso numerous international awards for pioneering healthy café culture and giving people choices that weren’t there before.

Three core strands run through the heart of our business and unite us as a team. We’re passionate about health and back-to-basics products. We’re obsessed with innovation. And we will never compromise on our values of honesty and integrity.

Meet the team below.

Pete Ethelston

Managing Director & Co-founder

Since inception, Pete has been at the helm of red espresso: a product he was drawn to for its innovation and health benefits…and the challenge of building a global business. A corporate heavyweight with a daredevil attitude and a genuine passion for improving the lives of others, he recognized that red espresso could put South Africa on the world map and make a real difference to the lives of everyone who contributes to the product. An ardent world traveller, Pete enjoys meeting with customers all over the world and launching red espresso into new markets. Pete loves rolling his sleeves up and getting involved: you’re more likely to find him helping out in the factory than sitting at his desk, and his real happy place is the Cederberg mountains, mucking in with the farmers. When he’s not at red espresso, he can be found on the sports field or hanging out with his two adorable daughters.

Monique Ethelston

Marketing Director & Mother of the brand

A tea drinker, health guru and celebrated marketing strategist, Monique, Pete’s wife, created the red espresso brand from scratch (we tease her about being our brandmother) winning two awards in the process. Monique was drawn to red espresso for its health, innovation and family credentials. And her extensive experience in global brand management, research and trade marketing meant she was totally up for the challenge of building a brand from nothing and trailblazing a new beverage category. She is passionate about meditation (it’s no coincidence red espresso was conceived in a Kathmandu café), being a mom to her two beautiful daughters and living a balanced life (ie spending as much time on the beach as possible, preferably with a book in hand).

Nic Reid

Head of Product Development

As passionate about coffee and his La Marzocco espresso machine as he is about health, Monique’s brother, Nic, has been with red espresso from the beginning. Helping make and pack product in our flat in Cape Town, he was our first Brand Ambassador and Barista Trainer, selling red espresso out of the boot of his car and getting us our first 1000 customers! His dedication to product excellence and consistent in-cup quality helped make our red cappuccino famous in South Africa. To this day no product leaves our factory without him personally testing it. Head of Product Development, he is responsible for extending our red espresso range and giving people more choice in our brand. When he’s not tinkering around in our factory or perfecting his latte art in our café, he can be found on the beach with his wife and son.

Kirsty Reid

Global Sales and Marketing and Design

Kirsty, Monique’s sister, joined red espresso in 2008 after years of graphic design and art direction on glossy magazines. In addition to being an incredible design talent who has had a fundamental impact on our brand’s look and feel, she has also championed our e-Commerce and Customer Service departments alongside Monique. This has made her a very familiar face to our many customers who have come to know and enjoy their time with her over the years! Kirsty is also a yoga teacher and enjoys painting and living a mindful life.

Oliver Ryder

Chief Financial Officer

Tall and British, our business wouldn’t be the same without Oliver’s incredible input on matters financial, strategic and sustainable. With experience ranging from working at Price Waterhouse London to safari guiding in Zambia, and a degree in microbiology and biochemistry (!) he is the financial director of several businesses and has a strong interest in sustainability. He’s also a registered carbon footprint assessor and a passionate environmentalist.

Liza Gregori

Customer Service

Meet Liza, our Customer Service champion! Always ready with a smile and a helping hand, she is the friendly voice that greets you when you call us and the lady who makes sure your orders are processed and delivered on time every time. As comfortable behind the espresso machine as she is with chatting to our customers, feel free to call her or pop into red headquarters anytime to learn more about the world of red espresso from her.

Tobias Jiyane

Johannesburg Brand Ambassador

Tobias has been our Johannesburg red espresso brand ambassador since 2007. A barista and barista trainer extraordinaire, Tobias is our eyes, ears and salesman on the ground in the biggest market in South Africa, We owe a lot of our success in Gauteng to his steadfast passion and commitment. We are proud to have Tobias on our team.

Cathleen Ruiters


The leading lady in our office, Cathleen has been with us for many years and is an integral part of our team. She heads up our finance department and is well known to all our customers. When she’s not at the office you can find her kickboxing or designing and sewing ball gowns – in fact, she has dressed many school leavers in our hometown of Paarl for their end of year dances!

Catherine Jacobs

Finance administrator

Warm and friendly, Catherine works closely with Cathleen to manage all of our suppliers. Her calm demeanour and willingness to go the extra mile makes us very lucky indeed to have her on our team.

Lowynne Kruger

Production Supervisor

Lowynne joined us in 2008 as one of our packers and worked his way up to being our Production Supervisor, responsible for our daily production planning and manufacturing and heading up our production team. His happy demeanour and big smile are infectious!

Productions Girls

Rebecca, Estefan, Aphton and Gretchen

Production guys

Max, Lowynne, Nigel and Alvino