I am a coffee roaster.
I’m 33 years old and from Sheffield.
I moved to Nottingham with my partner. It seemed like a good place to move to. We previously lived in London and it wasn’t for me – it was too busy and fast. And I wanted to launch a business away from London.
We had the business in London but to launch it properly we came here. London is a bit over-saturated. It feels a bit like a different country compared to up north. It’s all about profit making in London. The price of real estate and general living is so much higher. The business model would have had to be different to what I want to run in London.
My business is afreshbagofcoffee.co.uk
I specialise in roasting coffee beans fewer than 24 hours within despatching. I concentrate on the local market and offer a personalised service.
I started it because I like coffee. A lot!
When I first started drinking coffee it was instant like most people, but then I started wanting better and better coffee and eventually started roasting my own. So I launched a business to fund this obsession.
I was interested in where coffee beans come from, how they’re produced, and the difference in flavours from trying different coffees.
I moved to London and then up to Nottingham with my partner.
I’m a fairly active person although I like to have a beer in the evening too.
I like to think I have a social conscience. I’m a Green Party member. I shop locally as much as I can, avoiding big chains as much as possible.
When I was a teenager, the music I listened to was hip hop, we’re talking mid 90s here. The hip hop I listened to was about social change, conscientious rap rather than gangsta. East coast New York rap. It’s not the background I came from, I did grow up in a fairly poor household and it’s only when I was an adult I learned what my parents did to make ends meet. My mum sold her engagement ring to buy food for us children. I just noticed it was missing one day and asked her where it went. There were four of us, I have two sisters and one brother.
As I grew up, I became more aware of inequality and not just for me and my own background but for everyone.
I was also in to punk a lot which is very similar to rap in my opinion. Punk came out of anger against the status quo and so did rap. I’m a massive beastie boys fan and they are the first band I became aware of that merged the punk rock and hip hop genres. What they talked about stuck with me forever.
The Beastie Boys were 3 white kids in a predominantly black culture and they were accepted because they weren’t fake about what they were talking about. They were true to themselves.
I realised that even though you’re not from somebody’s background and you can’t understand it because you haven’t lived it, you can empathise with inequality that exists everywhere.
The older I get, the more I see and, to quote Ghandi, I be the change I want to see.
Hopes for the future
I want to be self-sufficient but within the modern world. I want to carry on being a coffee roaster for the foreseeable future. Eventually I’d like to be generating my own electricity to run the business, and to be able to benefit the community I live in as much as I can and do my part to reduce the equality gap.
I am a cyclist.