Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Ethical coffee business to take over Herb Farm cafe

Ethical coffee business to take over Herb Farm cafe

AN ethical coffee business is about to expand with a new venture in Sonning Common.

Since it started two years ago Rebel Coffee has been importing, roasting and packaging organic coffee from around the world and selling it to local cafés.

Now the Henley company is to open its own coffee shop, Rebel HQ, when it takes over the Barn Café at the Herb Farm in Peppard Road.

Company founder Ed Porter, 32, said: “All the coffee we serve will be roasted on site to show people how we do it.

“It is organic and ethical and classed as ‘slave-free’ coffee, which is one tier up from Fair Trade.

“We work directly with the growers. It’s about as ethical as you can be without owning a plantation. We source our coffee from small independent growers worldwide because we know this way they and their families will receive a decent liveable wage, unlike traditional methods where growers receive very little.

“Our unique selling point is that it’s ‘slave free’ and won’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth — either from the coffee or morally. We also place a big emphasis on recycling and the environment.”

Before moving into the coffee business, Mr Porter was a part-time actor and used to work on building sites to pay the bills.

He said: “One day I was sitting down on a building site thinking and realised I wanted more in life and to leave a legacy. I have always loved coffee so decided this was the way to go.”

He began by teaching himself how to roast coffee using a small bullet roaster before pursuing professional training to become qualified.

The business started off in a 5m x 5m unit and then moved to larger premises in Fawley Hill.

Mr Porter lives in Fawley with his wife Kim and children, Elijah, nine, and Willow, four.

The Barn Café owners are moving out today (Friday) and Mr Porter hopes to open the new coffee shop on Tuesday, August 16.

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