Ahh 2020, where do we start with this one…
It's safe to say that 2020 was a year like no other, filled with plenty of highs and lows - and face masks and zoom calls. However, despite the challenges and complexities of the year, there were some great silver-linings in there for us too. So today, we thought we’d take some time to look back and share a little bit about what we've been up to over the past 12 months. So grab a brew, and get ready to reminisce with us.
We were Sprudgie Finalists
So we didn’t win, but we made it to the final! Making it all the way to the final in the company of some awesome international players meant the world to us! Not bad for a wee Scottish roaster up against some incredible coffee giants.
We made the cover of Roast Magazine
In March of 2020, we were delighted to have been featured on the cover of the prestigious Roast Mag. This was a pretty special moment for us having bought, learned and been inspired by this industry resource for well over a decade. The swoosh of our P25 Probat cooling tray arm was perfectly captured by Mark Shimahara.
We changed how we work
Just like every other business, 2020 challenged us to rethink our typical working practices to ensure both our team and our customers are kept safe and COVID-19-free. Here at the roastery, we implemented a number of new health and safety measures. For example, back in March, we split our team into two production teams which allowed us to continue roasting, packing and caffeinating all of our amazing customers throughout lockdown. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have enough space to distance and to continue to operate against all odds.
We now have strict social distancing measures in our roasting and packing areas, we’ve kept our roastery visitors to a minimum and of course - we’ve masked up! Adjusting to our new ways of working was no mean feat but the support we have received from our loyal cafes, restaurants, bars and online customers has powered us through. As always, we’re sending out so much love to all of the amazing small businesses out there. We’ll be here to support you on the flip side to get up and running again.
We supported our local community
As an independent business, we faced many a challenge as a result of the global pandemic, we are so grateful for the support we received over the past 12 months and we feel fortunate that we were able to pay it forward and support those who’ve needed it most. Throughout 2020 we;
- Fuelled our fearless frontline workers - Using our business as a force for good is something that’s always been close to our heart, so it was an honour to be able to help fuel some of the country's incredible frontline workers throughout the lockdown. To the NHS frontline staff who’re working tirelessly in the battle against Covid-19 - we salute you!
- Collabed on some epic charitable blends and gave back - Throughout the year, we’ve roasted some delicious collaboration blends that support a host of brilliant charities. This includes our Dear Green City Blend which supports Green Heart Growers and our Social Bite Blend which contributes to Social Bite’s mission to eradicate homelessness. We also donated the proceeds from our used coffee sacks to ‘Girls Gotta Run’ - an organisation in Ethiopia which uses running as a foundation for girls to develop personal agency, community, and mentorship. And last but not least, as always we’ll be donating a percentage of our annual turnover to World Coffee Research along with a whole host of other charities we have committed to supporting.
- Supported our customers - As restrictions eased, and tightened (and eased and tightened again), we’ve been working closely with our wholesale customers to amend and adjust their coffee orders accordingly. This helps us ensure that no coffee goes to waste.
We roasted some pretty special beans
Despite the trials and challenges of 2020 we were determined to keep our customers fuelled with delicious, speciality beans and that's exactly what we did. From new, rare and exclusive beans to Cup of Excellence winners and the Gesha variety from the Six for Farmers project, we roasted some real treats! We also launched a whole host of new products like our extremely popular Blend Selection, our Triple Origin set and more recently our sell out '12 Days of Coffee'. Be sure to sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about our latest product drops!
We supported coffee producers around the world
Although we didn’t manage to visit any producers this year, we are lucky to have formed great relationships with some amazing producers to ensure we are buying coffee responsibly. Following previous origin trips in recent years, we’re proud to buy coffee sustainably whilst we continue to focus on sourcing the highest quality specialty grade coffee. Throughout the year, we’ve supported and repurchased from some of our favourite producers including Fazenda Pantano in Brazil, AMACA Women’s Association in Colombia and Rama Woman’s Foundation in Burundi. We’ve also bought from even more small producers this year as we managed our unknown coffee volume fluctuations in line with waves of customer demand and consumer behaviour in response to government restrictions.
We took The Glasgow Coffee Festival to the Streets
With events across the globe being cancelled and rearranged as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, we were forced to think outside the box when it came to planning Glasgow Coffee Festival 2020. And after the year we had had so far, we were more determined than ever to bring Glasgow’s Coffee community together to celebrate the best baristas, cafes and roasters the city has to offer. So, following many coffee-fuelled brainstorming sessions, we decided to mix things up and takeGlasgow Coffee Fest to the streets! And that’s exactly what we did.
Throughout the 10 day event, we teamed up with 50 coffee shops across the city to host Glasgow’s biggest coffee party, offering deals and discounts in all of your favourite cafes and indy businesses. Although the festival looked a little bit different this year, we were delighted to be able to bring the people of Glasgow together with friends, family and loved ones to catch up over a good brew. As always, we were blown away by the support we received from the city’s coffee community and it was great to see people come together after a tough couple of months in lockdown. Take a look at some of our favourite photos from the event…
We Chatted about Covid-19 and Coffee with our pals
Throughout the year our journey has been documented by filmmaker Zev Robinson. We've been on Specialty Coffee Association webinars, we've chatted on the Our Glasgow Podcast, the Small Fish podcast, the Steampunk podcast and in November, we joined Patrik Rolf of April Coffee Copenhagen to discuss Covid-19 and its impact on the coffee industry. Shoutout to Patrik for hosting and for bringing our international coffee community together to share knowledge, to learn and to help one another find a way forward in support of our industry during these testing times! If you missed this podcast episode, you can check it out here.
Earlier in the year, we also joined Farmer Bryce of the brilliant Mossgiel Organic Farm to share a little bit about Glasgow’s specialty coffee scene, our ethical coffee sourcing practices and creating incredible coffee experiences. You can check that out right here.
We cupped via Zoom
2020 really was the year of Zoom, from meetings and classes to quizzes and catchups, we've all had our fair share of Zoom screens. We used the power of video calls to stay connected with our amazing coffee community by organising our first ever Zoom cupping session for our UK roasting pals.
Nine of us sent coffee to one another and we all cupped and tasted live together. Dave at Crankhouse Coffee Roasters in Exeter was then inspired to arrange a roasting competition ‘Roast Wars’ which we competed in and Lisa also judged.
We Turned Nine
Yep! That’s nine whole years of roasting delicious, ethical coffee - and fuelling coffee lovers in our Dear Green place and beyond! And what a journey it has been. Over the past nine years, we’ve achieved so much as an indie roastery - and none of it would be possible without you, our wonderful coffee-loving community. You rock! We are so lucky to be able to do what we love 9 years on, with our same ethical, founding principles.
Continued our Eco-Friendly Practices
Throughout the madness of 2020, we remained environmentally aware in all of our business practices - did you know that our coffee packaging is degradable? We are also delighted to have become ambassadors for Circular Glasgow - a movement to inspire and educate business about the benefits of a circular economy.
We became part of a project that's out of this world... literally!
For a while now, our friends at Trade in Space have been working on something super exciting - the world’s FIRST satellite brokered, end-to-end coffee trade! The icing on the cake? If all goes well with their impressive process (which of course, it will) Dear Green will be roasting the world’s first satellite brokered, intercontinental, track and traced, asado muy especial, green coffee beans acquired by machine learning analysis of satellite images in a few months! Pretty amazing, huh? To find out more about Trade in Space's mission, click right here.
We gained B Corp Certification
We topped off the year in style and were ecstatic to receive our B Corp Certification. Our strong company ethics have always been at the centre of everything we do here at Dear Green and we can’t wait to help contribute to a bigger picture as a B Corp certified business!
We’ve been supported by our amazing customers
One thing that has helped see us through it all has been the support we have received from our incredible Dear Green community who have stuck by us through it all.
From the businesses who have had to pivot weekly to those of you who have invested in drinking more and more great coffee at home! THANK YOU! We wouldn’t have survived this far without you!
We’d like to say a huge heartfelt ‘Thanks’ from the extremely hard working, dedicated and bloody awesome team at Dear Green! Thanks for fuelling our year by keeping us fuelling you with our favourite beverage!