During her first three months backpacking, Victoria, from Portsmouth, had an idea to bring high quality, organic coffee from the farms of South America to the UK.
She said: ‘Once I started trying to figure out how to get the idea off the ground, I realised a lot of coffee companies packaged the lining of their coffee bags with plastic, which is something I had to change straight away.’
Victoria created a Kickstarter campaign online, which raised more than £5,000, and she set up Alpaca Coffee.
She decided to use plastic-free packaging and source coffee from farms in Central and South America.
She said: ‘I did a lot of research to find the most sustainable and ethical farms to ensure I deliver the best product that also aligns with Alpaca Coffee's values.
‘It really started from there and has turned into a sustainable business where we are committed to being a plastic free coffee company.’
Exploring ways to support another family business, Victoria has partnered up with a family-owned artisanal roaster in Cambridge, where coffee is freshly roasted to order.
Victoria, from North End Avenue, North End, said: ‘We work with a roaster because I wanted to find a way to support another family business but also get the coffee out to people. I source coffee from a farm and we work with our partners to get it shipped out and roasted to everyone.’
To find ways of supporting other plastic-free companies and give back to the villages where Alpaca Coffee is sourced, the 26-year-old has teamed up with Guima Estate, a Brazilian coffee farm fully managed and owned by women.
Here, Victoria has pledged to plant a tree per 10 bags of coffee sold, working with zero waste retailers, Life Unplastic and Life Before Plastik, where her coffee is sold for £9.95 per bag.
Victoria hopes to become the leading ethical plastic-free coffee company in the UK, while building a subscription service and a website where coffee can be bought by the bag. She also hopes to work with more retailers, and inspire other firms by her ethical way of packaging coffee.