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What it Means to be an Ethically-Focused Coffee Shop

With many options available for consumers, many are choosing outlets that match their personal values. Learn how to spot and introduce sustainable practices here.

The coffee shop industry has gone from strength to strength in the UK over the last few years. In 2007, there were just under 10,000 coffee shop outlets in the UK, rising to over 24,000 in 2017; it’s clear that consumer love of coffee is only increasing. The humble coffee shop has become a vital hub at the heart of each community, and Esquires Coffee aims to provide a place to gather and relax in peaceful company – accompanied by great coffee, of course.

What Consumers Want

When it comes to choosing a location to relax with friends, grab a quick coffee or catch up on work, there are numerous options for consumers, but often they will be drawn to outlets whose values match their own. It is no longer just about good coffee (although that certainly helps!), it is about what the brand stands for and the atmosphere it cultivates, both in its premises and in the wider community.

Over the last 25 years, we’ve built an ethical, sustainable brand that we know consumers can identify with, something which you, as a potential franchisee, can take advantage of with our coffee shop franchise UK. This enables you to open your store with the backing of an established, sustainable and Fairtrade coffee brand with huge consumer appeal.

Here are three ways we bring ethical thinking to Esquires Coffee shops, which you can build on within your own store.

1. Responsible Coffee – Know Your Beans!

One of the most critical aspects of running an ethically-focused coffee shop is, of course, the coffee itself. It is vital that you understand where the coffee beans have come from, the farming process and how they can help support sustainable coffee cultivation long into the future. The Fairtrade Foundation has been at the forefront of the movement to help farmers from less developed regions get the right support, pay and working conditions for the great work they do. As one of the first global coffee chains to serve only 100% Fairtrade and Organic coffee, Esquires knows how important it is to provide products that are both ethical and sustainable, which do not exploit or harm the planet.

Our franchises not only use Fairtrade coffee but also make sure all their beans are organically produced, helping to promote sustainability in all aspects of coffee production.

Beans on a coffee plant

2. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

It’s important that coffee shops, as beacons for the local community, promote recycling and reusability as much as possible. One key example of this is the use of recyclable cups for people who are taking their coffee to-go, but it is also prevalent in a range of areas throughout the business.

The Great British public uses 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year, so we strive to recycle and re-use whenever and wherever possible. Last year we introduced compostable coffee cups, takeaway cups, boxes, serviettes and straws, all of which are 100% recyclable.

3. Help to Educate

We take pride in our community spirit, with each shop acting as a hub within its locale. As such, we’re in a unique position in the local community to educate our customers as to what we’re doing to be more ethical and how they can play a role. By showing and sharing ideas on how we can all work together for a fairer, healthier planet, your coffee shop will become a moral beacon for the community, attracting consumers who share your beliefs. Make sure it’s clear to your customers how you’re providing them with an ethical and sustainable service and product, and how they can take part in the recycling process.

‘Great coffee helps’ slogan on a recycled background at Esquires Coffee

Here at Esquires, we are passionate about our planet. Despite our success, we have always strived to create a business culture that values ethical and sustainable practices that do not exploit people for the sake of profit. We hope that you will join us on this mission to create a fairer planet for all!

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