Reader's Digest spoke to Lauren, founder of The Little Coffee Company, about her inspirations and what her business offers
RD: How did Little Coffee Company get started, and how would you best summarise what you offer?
I started after I went back to Jamaica. I wanted to develop a local brand that focused on women and told stories from our communities.
"I wanted to develop a local brand that focused on women and told stories from our communities"
The best way to summarise is a social enterprise that sells some of the best coffees showcasing the women farmers behind the brand. That's what makes our coffee so great!
Did you undertake any formal education/business training to help get you to this point?
I studied business as I wanted to expand on my knowledge on starting a business. I also worked in the coffee industry in Jamaica which made me fall in love with this industry.
How does your work complement your personality?
I love people, I love culture and community. I love my culture and I’m passionate about where I am from. I’m hardworking, too; I always make sure I get things completed.
Coffee from The Little Coffee Company
What are the core values that drive you?
Honesty, integrity and transparency. I am passionate about building a brand that is centred around people and the planet, and I’ve always felt that certain stories were lost.
"Women are important in our industry, but often do the most work for the least recognition"
Coffee is a cultural drink; it brings families friends together, it's the start of your day or even the end of your night. In the Middle East coffee is the centre of conversation, but it is also rooted in culture from Yemen to Ethiopia. So I strong believe that the communities that produce should have the recognition and benefit equity within the chain of coffee. Women are important in our industry, but often do the most work for the least recognition. That needs to change.
You also strive to be environmentally aware; what steps have you taken to create a climate-conscious business?
I think this is what all businesses should do. I am from an island. I feel the real impact of climate change. Our hurricanes are stronger, our soil is eroded and this has impacted our way of life so as a business I have a sense of responsibility to do my part.
Lauren, founder of The Little Coffee Company
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I am usually up at 5am. I try to meditate, I have coffee, check emails and then the day is typically calls, more emails, meetings, visits. But truly, no day is the same.
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your job?
I love the satisfaction of completing an order. I hate when things go wrong; I really don’t like feeling as if I haven’t delivered perfectly.
What do you like to do to switch off?
I love to travel, I also enjoy eating and socialising with my friends and family. I also play sport to wind down and I am a bit fan of gym to de-stress.
What has been your most valuable business lesson you’ve learnt so far? And what has been your most tangible achievement?
To trust your gut. Don't live in fear, but surround yourself with good people. Because of that, I’ve gotten into Selfridges and Wholefoods, and been really proud of all the work that my company does to empower female farmers.
Coffee from The Little Coffee Company
In five years time, where would you like to see yourself?
Professionally, I’d love to diversify our products and make investments in a team that will help us grow. A bit more balance in my personal life would be great too!
If you weren’t in this line of work, what other career would you love to have?
The Little Coffee Company is only part-time. I am also a barrister. It’s great to work in two industries that I love.
Visit The Little Coffee Company's website here
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