Happy International Coffee Day! As my inaugural post for Araminta Marketing, I thought I would write about my favourite thing in life - coffee. In honour of this momentous day of the year, I took a trip to one of my favourite coffee shops, to give you the inside scoop on how this coffee shop is making a sustainable difference in their local community. - Megan, The New Fabulous Intern
Paper And Cup is nestled in a maybe the only quiet corner of Shoreditch. Walking only a few meters from its bustling clubs and bars, you can find Paper and Cup suspended in a tranquille state. I’m instantly captivated by the wall of colour coordinated books and the smell of my personal divinity - delicious coffee.
This community orientated haven is the vessel of many treasures, including its dedication to social impact. While many brands have to be shaken to become socially active, Paper and Cup’s social ethos sits at its core. Created by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), Paper and Cup is a non-profit social enterprise who ‘support and provide valuable work experience and a training ground for those in the later stages of their recovery and rehabilitation’.
On the eve of a golden autumn day, I stand with Nicole and Valentina as they compose gorgeous cappuccinos and brew blends of beautiful tea. We open a warm and heartening conversation about how to organically nurture a coffee community and patiently tend to community needs.
AM: I love this coffee shop! Every time I come I notice such a wide variety of customers, most of whom are local. How do you cultivate the community feel?
V: We have such a wide variety of customers! Behind the counter, some of us are regular workers and some are trainees who come from the background of recovery. That’s why you get so many different ages and backgrounds.We have many people who come, that wouldn’t ordinarily go for coffee, because they know someone who works here. So it’s a really big community feeling that we have here.
N: We also have such a mix of regulars and some tourists. In the week it’s a lot of people who work and live here that we know by name, where at the weekend there’s more tourists. We pop up a lot on coffee shop blogs on instagram… we get a lot of Americans come in saying, ‘Oh we saw you on instagram’, so that works itself. Other people pass by and say they’ve never noticed us before - then come for the next five years. We love our regulars!
AM: With such a wide variety of customers and employees, how does everything fit together?
V: I don't think it’s too hard. I think has helped me developing my patience definitely. I love learning about and bonding with new people. You deal with lots of people from different and sometimes difficult backgrounds. You find new ways to communicate with every individual. You become very mindful, not about just what you say, but how you say it.
It’s not harder than working with people who haven’t been in recovery. Everyone has issues! Most of the time it’s really fulfilling, it humbles you really. We are all a bit broken, and they have accepted it and are doing something about it!
AM: Do you run any community events to help facilitate it? It sounds like you have a pretty organic community culture anyway!
N: We have openings for the art that we exhibit. That generally changes every two months, so we have a party to celebrate that.
AM: How can you apply to be the resident artist?
N: So you can just send an email with your portfolio or examples of your work. As long as there’s enough work and it suits the space, there’s a good chance that you can exhibit your work. 20% of the proceeds to go straight back to the charity and the rest goes straight to the artist, which I think is a pretty great deal!
AM: So in terms of the actual coffee itself, which brand do you love?
N: It’s Method Roastery that we’re using now - It’s fair trade!
V: ...and in terms of cakes, they are definitely local, we have a lady who lives locally, make us only vegan and vegetarian cakes. We always try to be as local as possible, we really do try to encourage it.
AM: I’ve just noticed the books are for sale too! I had assumed it was just a design aesthetic, having a full wall of books - all colour co-ordinated.
V: Yes Nicole is so creative, we love our book wall.
N: They are all donations, they’ve traveled around and end up here. Every single one is carefully picked and goes for £2!
If you know the Araminta Marketing team at all, you’ll know we’d be nothing without an all important morning cup of coffee. It’s definitely been an invaluable piece of fuel that’s helped drive us on our mission to focus and share our values. Promoting kindness, compassion and collaborations is the core of everything we do and there’s something to be said for the brands and individuals we’ve bonded and collaborated with over a good old cuppa Joe!
We love Paper and Cup, not just for their top-notch coffee, but because they are community minded, socially conscious and reflect the values we wish more brands would prioritise. Social media has become vital in creating conversation around social issues. We believe that for brands to survive in the current market, they need to be transparent with the consumer, allowing their ethics and ideals to be the driving force to initiate important conversations and create a wider community.
Experience the magic of Paper and Cup yourself -
On Insta: @PaperAndCupShoreditch On Twitter: @PaperAndCup
Or in Real Life: 18, Calvert Ave, London E2 7JP