“It's a shocking fact that millions of farmers and workers who produce the food we love still don’t earn enough to feed their own families”. When I stop and think about that for a second, it’s crazy, right? The people that grow and produce some of our best-loved and most consumed foods can’t even afford to feed their own families.
Then, and this was the most surreal bit, as we filed out of the security hut one after another, I found myself walking up Downing Street, completely alone, with only the obligatory policeman standing outside of the Number 10 door. Having seen that street and that door on TV countless times, I was now in the middle of it, alone, surrounded by an eerie silence. Weird!
In part 1 of the twelve things I’ve learnt since leaving corporate life and starting my own business, I wrote about the excitement, the flexibility and the amazing people I’ve met since venturing out on my own. In this second part, I continue my observations about the differences between corporate life and startup life, with another six ups and downs on this rollercoaster ride. Hold on tight…
(12 things I’ve learnt about starting a startup - part 1)
Corporate life had its moments; good and bad, more bad towards the end. But I didn’t appreciate how comfortable it really was until after I’d left. So I thought I would write about the differences I've observed between my corporate life and my startup life. Hang on tight and keep your arms and legs inside at all times. It’s certainly a rollercoaster ride…
With a title like this, you might think I am going to write about how drinking X cups of coffee a day could cure serious disease. But that’s not what this blog post is about. It is about cancer, cervical cancer to be precise, and how our partnership with charity Grounds for Health is helping to treat and protect women from this terrible disease, particularly in developing countries and coffee growing regions.
It’s a huge claim; and this is what the Fairtrade Foundation lead with on their website. Personally, buying Fairtrade products, despite costing that little bit more, has always instinctively felt the right thing to do (the result of some effective marketing I suspect). But it wasn’t until starting a coffee business and deciding which coffee to source that I really began to understand the real ethical value of paying more. In this article, I explore that in more detail and why at New Kings Coffee we believe it’s worth paying the extra few pence for an ethical product like ours.
“What if?” has been the catalyst for lots of the world’s great inventions. So I wasn't alone when I asked myself "What if I created a selection box of coffees from around the world, just like those luxury tea selection boxes I always see at hotels and conferences?"
Accidents happen. They can be life-changing. And in these extraordinary cases, they can be life-changing in a good way. If there was ever a lesson in embracing so called ‘failure’, of staying open-minded to where the journey takes you, this is it.
I recently attended a trade mission to Paris (sounds grand doesn’t it?), as part of a trip organised by small business support organisation Enterprise Nation. The mission was focussed on ‘exporting’ and would provide an insight in to what’s required to export products to France, as well as meeting a range of buyers from organisations such as Eurostar and Sodexo.