We caught up with James Gray, Founder of Barista & Co. Find out how they’re ‘doing it right’ with their sustainable coffee.
Who is Barista & Co and what do you do?
We are a coffee brand based between the forest and the sea on the South Coast of the UK in Dorset. Barista & Co Coffee make fresh honest coffee and kit for home, work and play.
Why is sustainability important to your brand?
As a brand we believe in Coffee Doing It Right. By doing right by our planet and people we want to bring about positive change. Coffee Doing It Right is our project to achieve this. Our ethos is simple, we believe we should leave our planet in a better state than we found it. Not only is sustainability important to our brand but it is also important to everyone within our business and we are all asked to challenge our personal and business actions to continuously improve and enhance our surroundings.
How does Barista & Co put its commitment to sustainability into action?
We do this by looking at all aspects of our business and ensure we make the right decisions when making all decisions not just the obvious ones. We encourage our team to cycle to work, we have electric vehicles, we have a no print policy on everything that can be done electronically and we don’t allow single use plastics. In terms of our products we offer a Repair and Recycle service which means we have spare parts for all of our products so we can allow customers to repair rather than replace. If a product does reach the end of its’ life we will take it back for recycling or provide guidance for customers to do this themselves. All of our product packaging is now recyclable and this includes our coffee bags. Of course we have also just partnered with Reuseabox to cut down on our use of virgin card.
Has the cardboard shortage influenced your decision to pack your products in used cardboard boxes?
No this was really an added benefit for us, our decision was based on the fact we thought it was a great idea to reuse cardboard boxes
What do your customers think of their products arriving in used packaging?
Our customers have only given positive comments. Personally I really like the fact that there is a story to the box, I received some products I ordered for myself in a box that had been used for laptops, I loved the idea something had been given an extra life and had its’ own journey. There is a practice in Japan called Kintsugi where ceramics are repaired and used again. To me they look even better than when they were originally made, they have been brought back to life.
What would you say to another company that is thinking of switching to used cardboard boxes?
Do it. You get a load of benefits and I have been surprised at the quality of the boxes. I did initially have some reservations that our goods could get damaged in shipment or we would have to use excessive amounts of tape but they all function as new.
How has the Covid 19 pandemic affected Barista & Co?
I think we have been one of the lucky ones as coffee consumption at home has increased in a big way. We had to put our new speciality coffee offer for offices on hold but it has given us time to refine our offer and we have ended up launching something much better than we would have. Sadly our coffee shop customers have been hit very hard and I encourage everyone to get back into their favourite coffee shop.
What future plans does Barista & Co have?
This year we launch in the US and we are trialling international websites. Hong Kong is going to be our first one in Asia which I’m excited to see develop, all planned and developed without a face to face meeting which has kept our air travel down and helped the environment. Find out more about Barista & Co.
Learn more about making the switch to Once Used Cardboard Boxes.