Portsmouth entrepreneur launches UK's first plastic-free coffee subscription company Alpaca Coffee
BACKPACKER Victoria Poon has launched the UK’s first plastic-free coffee subscription company inspired by her travels in Bolivia.
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.