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Gloucestershire Business News

Coffee business seeks the sweet aroma - of survival

Just by drinking a cup of coffee you could be helping a Gloucestershire business survive the coronavirus crisis.

If you live in Gloucester, especially Kingsholm, and like coffee you will probably have heard of Ethical Addications.

Rooted in the community of the city it has been quietly supplying cafes county-wide and the adjacent Roots Coffee and Community cafe in Alvin Street with coffee for - well, let's just say since pre-hipster days.

'Pre-hipster', because this company was sourcing its own coffee, striking deals direct with farmers to ensure the money went straight to them, and bringing their black gold back to Gloucestershire to roast long before it was a trendy micro-business model for the hirsut and tatooed.

Off the back of its hard work it was able to become a major piece of the collective that created the much-lauded social enterprise that is Roots Coffee and Community.

While the relationships it has built up home and abroad continue to flourish, the closure of its customers' businesses not only wiped out immediate plans for expansion, but possibly threatens its very existance. Which the great Gloucestershire public come in.

Quite simply, we can help it survive by ordering from it, for personal or business use. The thrust f its story will now be familiar to many, and unerlines why it is so important for us here in the county to stick together.

"As you can imagine we've lost 90 per cent of our customers who are now shut-down for months so we are trying to reinvent ourselves. We can still roast, pack and send out and are promoting our web shop and coffee for home," said Ian Meredith, now managing director of Ethical Addictions, a company he founded in 2006 and which now has five staff.

"To grow a business is so hard, and until two weeks ago we were in a great place in growth, developing relationships overseas, investing in social projects and supplying customers across the country.

"We were looking at new premises to build a bigger roastery and the future was looking really good for us, and for farmers in Tanzania and Brazil (where it sources its coffee beans from).

"Now, who knows, about 90 per cent of our customers are shut-down and we need to plan for possibly months like this.

"We have some reserves, we're grateful for some government help, and we are certainly grateful for faithful customers.

"So now, with everyone working at home we are looking to our customers with retail shops to continue trading and our online shop to fuel nation with caffeine at home.

"We have great staff and I'm confident we'll get through this when everything calms down and we find a new normal. We just hope and pray that all our customers get through this and open up again."

To find out more visit www.eacoffee.co.uk

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