Coffee lovers turn distributors

A WESTFIELD couple love coffee so much that they bought their own distribution company.

Stacey and Paul Hope, who moved to Woking from South Africa in January, were looking for a business to run in lockdown conditions and found that the distributor Duo Caffe was for sale.

COFFEE TIME – Stacey, her husband Paul and son Alex with some of the Duo Caffe products

Stacey is a speech and language therapist but had to stay at home while her son Alex, six, settled into his new school.

“As lockdown came in, I was looking for something I could do from home,” Stacey said. “I wanted a product that people would want and as we both love coffee, thought about creating a distributor ourselves and were setting up a website when Duo Caffe came up.”

The online distributor specialises in artisanal coffee, often produced by family firms, which appealed to Stacey.

Duo Caffe had an existing client base and also supplied restaurants and cafés. It provides whole beans and ground coffee and also pods for all the major coffee-making machines.

Paul, a facilities and operation manager, has been helping Stacey with admin and she is also working with her sister-in-law Christine Mulder to expand the products that Duo Caffe can provide.

It has already expanded its range to include disposable face shields, gloves, open trays, cartons, pizza and burger boxes and greaseproof paper, which can be branded with logos. Cleaning material and tools are also available.

The business has also provided an interest for Alex, who has been learning about maps, marketing and packaging during his home schooling. He has also inherited the entrepreneurial genes, making worm farms that he has sold on eBay.

Stacey said she sends out samples and chooses what to sell according to the feedback.

“We work with an Italian family on the Nero Puro brand and lots of Italian people have been buying it.”

Stacey is hoping to be able to provide her favourite South African coffee, Transkei Gold, which is produced by a company called Beaver Creek in Port Edward on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

She is also looking to work with suppliers in Surrey and is hoping to expand the number of local customers.

“The prices are comparable to buying coffee in the shops and we offer a 10% discount for orders through the website.”

Stacey said she likes working with other small, family-run businesses and that her customers know where their coffee comes from.

“This is all still quite new, but we have already grown a fair bit and are looking to add more.”

A percentage of all profits is going to ANE International, which is spreading awareness of the rare genetic disorder acute necrotising encephalopathy.

Stacey and Paul’s son Daniel died from ANE two years ago. The condition allows viruses to affect the brain suddenly and dramatically. It has a high mortality rate and those who survive are often severely disabled.

For more information, visit www.duocaffe.com, call 07866 916027 or email info@duocaffe.com.

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