We want to bring positive change to our communities while selling delicious and ethically sourced coffee, tea and snacks from our purpose built cargo bike.

The Idea

Have you ever thought why there is so much unemployment and why the young seem to be particularly affected by it? Have you ever thought why it’s so difficult to start a business these days? If the economic system as we’ve come to know it is all we could ever hope for than why are we faced with this precarious situation in which we are reduced to the status of a consumer who is constantly being played with?

We’re not going to fool you that this is just about making good coffee. It’s more about transforming our lives and those around us by doing things differently and not giving up when most have lost hope for a brighter future. We want to make our positive contribution to the society and we think that starting a cooperative business is probably one of the best ways of doing this.

Combining two of our greatest passions, coffee and bicycles we’ve come up with a creative idea of overcoming the debilitating obstacles that most start-ups have on their road to sustainability. The real advantage of running a business from a cargo bike is that it allows to eliminate the high start-up costs which will allow us to successfully compete with the corporate chain shops which are driving their profits away from our local communities.

We’re a workers’ cooperative which means that we have equal pay as well as equal say in how the enterprise is run. The business is ultimately run by the team’s consensus and driven by self-reliance and independence. We want to learn and apply our skills in the most useful way and hope that we can achieve our social goals doing so.

Coffee, snacks and sustainability

We think that what you drink, how it was prepared as well as where your coffee comes from are all very important. Coffee has been a staple in the Western world for a very long time however the more sophisticated and demanding coffee culture developed in this country relatively recently. We’ve got passion for coffee and want to share it with you. You can be assured that we only ever intend to serve what we would be happy to drink ourselves. Nothing less will do. We also believe that we can satisfy some of the most discerning clientèle without sacrificing our ethical values. We want to sell ethically sourced produce minimising our waste and offsetting our eco-footprint however possible. We are still thinking of other things we could do. As soon as this becomes economically viable we’ll be looking at different ways of powering our coffee machine as well as utilising waste like producing gas from coffee grounds or growing oyster mushrooms on them. :)

Community participation

We believe that community involvement is essential to a fulfilling and happy life and we want to make this principle the foundation of what we do.

We’ve been really happy to help Food Cycle with their produce collections and would love to see community sites like Street Bank grow.

Needless to say we’re also keen supporters of the cycling community. We hope that our involvement will help to make it more vibrant and cohesive so that we can advance our common cause of getting more people on bikes.

We think that this is only a start. Our heads are full of ideas of how cargo biking could transform our communities. Watch this space. :)

Risks and challenges

Like with any business venture in this respect we’re no different. The greatest risk we could face is the council refusing to let us trade where we choose. Option one is that here are enough alternatives across the city that we think this might not necessarily pose that big a problem. Option two is that there are other cooperative businesses that can help us by trading from outside their premises (Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative is one of those we have a good relationship). Option three we’re not going to ‘sell’ anything and take customers donations instead and see how the council likes that ;). Anyway, we know that we can come up with something no matter how difficult the going gets.