Where do we start? How do you run a business?

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There are two parts to the business; 1. Coffee, 2. Community – both are interdependent. This is great from a creative perspective as when you get a bit drained of one side you can switch to the other and the variety is wonderful. However, the two elements are also why we have so much learning to do in so many areas. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

(Though let’s be honest, even if we did know the workload we wouldn’t have changed it, we both like a challenge too much.)

Part 1: The Coffee

Why coffee?

There’s something about a decent cup of coffee that seems to encourage conversation to flow, and that is so important. Luxurious, comforting coffee along with supportive conversation is our vision for every mum in the UK. Our coffee has a purpose and we are passionate about the journey of how we can use our coffee as a positive tool to influence change in the area of motherhood. 

It was so important to us to get the right blends of coffee whether you were choosing to go decaf, had been up all night or wanted something to drink all through the day. It needed to feel like a luxurious, comforting hug. A little bit of support right there in the palm of your hand. These blends had to be our own, designed by us for other tired mums like us, and nothing short of that would suffice. (After all, we can’t be all fur coat and no knickers!)

Where to get it from – who and what’s important

This was the tricky bit.. how do two thirty-something mums from Shropshire and North Wales set about sourcing and developing our own coffee blends?!

There were a few things that were really important to us and were not negotiable. These were;

  1. the beans needed to be fairtrade,
  2. the decaf blend not to contain the chemical process, and
  3. the packaging needed to be recyclable.

We also wanted to source coffee beans from a female grower if we could, but we knew that one might not be within the initial phases.  

Thankfully we managed to seek out a supplier who could meet our requirements and who worked with us for 5 months on all things blends. The lady who worked with us throughout the process of creating the coffee is a mum who very quickly understood us, and what we were trying to create. We found out that this is so important when creating a business/brand, as it needs to be built with a network of people who get you and ideally can relate to what you want to achieve. (The few times we have strayed from this have turned out to be total disasters, but we might fill you in on those later down the line!)

The Process

Our first go at ‘cupping’

The creation process involved a LOT of coffee samples and tasting.. and we have to say we 100% loved every minute of it! There was also homework, research, questioning, refining, focus groups, frustrating moments and so on. It can’t all be plain sailing now, can it.

The specialty coffee is convection roasted in small batches and we went to the supplier’s site to view every part of the process that would be involved with our coffee before we gave the go ahead.  Whilst the boys were fascinated with the pipework of the place and the mechanics of a roaster, we walked in and saw our dream coming to life…

Whilst at the supplier, we did a coffee cupping session to finalise the three blends we had decided on. This should be straightforward we thought (even though we had no idea what cupping really was). It turns out that cupping is where the coffee is left to brew for 4 minutes with the grounds at the top. You then break the grounds with the spoon, move them away, and then you slurp the coffee as noisily as possible from the spoon before spitting it into what looks like a dentist’s mini-sink (see above picture). 

The issue we had with the cupping session was that there was no milk….! Whilst it’s important to smell and taste the blends black, neither of us drink black coffee, so to make a definite decision on our blends without any form of milk was impossible. Luckily they bagged the beans up and we took them home to try as we would drink them and then report back. Oops!   

The Fastest way for Mums to get quick coffee 

One of the things we considered right from the beginning was how tired, busy mums are realistically going to be able to enjoy specialty coffee within their days. Do all mums have coffee machines? If they do are they ones for ground coffee? Beans? Pods? 

The travel press and the Aeropress were the two things we came across that tick this box – whether you want to put it together in the travel press and enjoy out and about, or Aeropress it into a travel cup and go, both options take a couple of minutes. The taste from the Aeropress method is also truly incredible considering the speed it’s done in (though don’t ask us about the science bit!). 

Whilst the Aeropress and the Aeropress Go are both already available to buy on our website, we haven’t found a travel press for which we are 100% satisfied with at the time of writing. It needs to fit in a cup holder that would be on a pram or in the car, and it needs to keep it hot a long time but not increase the strength all that time (no point putting luxury coffee in a rubbish cup, besides, we want only the BEST for our mums!). Watch this space…

Future Plans

We are only at the very beginning of our journey, but we already have big plans! Going forward we would love to be able to source our coffee beans from female growers; it’s important to us to use females (mums where possible) at every stage of building and running Tired Mums Coffee. 

We also have a goal to roast our own coffee in years to come, with the ultimate dream being a Tired Mums Coffee roastery in a number of towns/cities that will include a café space where mums can come with their children to feel comfortable, supported and to connect with other mums. It would also have a workshop area where we can hold all number of sessions designed to support the enhancement of the motherhood experience. Fingers and toes crossed we make it that far!    

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