One of our proudest features of GrantTree is working with all our awesome clients, and we love seeing what the extra funding we make accessible for our clients can do to boost their businesses. Case in point: Pact Coffee, an exciting venture which has been running for 3 years and who prides themselves on being “The best coffee you’ve ever made”.
I was lucky enough to talk to Laura Bridges who has been with the company since the early days and who, in between my questions, peppered me with some of her valuable coffee knowledge, leaving me feeling like a coffee connoisseur – a coff-noisseur if you will. Full interview below:
Pippa: What attracted you to Pact Coffee as a place to work?
Laura: When I joined Pact, I was the 14th employee and it was Stephen [Rapoport, CEO] who made me really want to join the company. He is an incredibly motivating and passionate person and when you see someone get that excited about what they’re building, you know it’s going to be a success and you want to be part of it.
I had also been in New Zealand where there was a really strong coffee culture and when I moved over to London, I was so disappointed at the lack of attention and quality around coffee that I went tee-total for 12 months: no coffee. It was only when I joined Pact and tasted the quality that I started drinking it again and I haven’t looked back since.
P: Sounds like you found the light! How does Pact’s process work from start to finish?
L: Pact is a service, which enables you to brew a fantastic coffee in your home. From the beginning to end of our process, our focus is on the excellence of the coffee. It starts when our Head of Coffee, Will [Corby] flies out to small coffee farms to sample the beans before we buy. He is looking for quality over quantity and prefers to visit the smaller farms with smaller crops to ensure they are the best of the best.
Once the beans have been selected and flown back over, they are roasted on-site [in Pact’s premises in Southwark] and customers then order them online, so that we can guarantee that the beans have been roasted in the last seven days before you receive them. The really clever thing about Pact is that customers can choose how they want their roasted beans ground depending on how they will be making their coffee; they will be ground differently depending on whether the customer is using a cafetiere, a drip, an aeropress, a stovetop or an espresso machine.
Pact also takes it a step further with our coffee algorithm, which you can use by inputting your tastes and preferences and it will then recommend which coffee bean you would most likely enjoy as there are 8 coffee types to choose from (six normal beans, one limited edition and one decaf), which can make it hard to make the right choice!
P: Pact makes it a tough choice, definitely. How do you manage to get your coffee to your clients if you aim to roast and deliver the coffee within such a short window?
L: We tackle national delivery by using Royal Mail to deliver bags quickly to our clients based outside of London and some Londoners are lucky enough to have their bags delivered by cycle courier – keep your eyes peeled for one on a road near you if you’re reading this in London.
P: Who is your competition and what sets you apart from them?
L: Contrary to what people might originally think, our main competition isn’t coffee shops, but it’s the big supermarkets selling bags of roasted beans. What differentiates us from them is that in supermarkets, you don’t know how long a bag has been there … and how much flavour has been lost by just sitting there. By guaranteeing that we roast the beans in the past seven days, it means that we preserve as much flavour as possible, which results in a better quality taste and a happy customer! We chose the name Pact because we are making a pact with our customers to guarantee fresh roasted coffee available in your home – we want to make great quality coffee as accessible as possible.
P: Great stuff. What are your plans for the future? Any big projects coming up soon?
L: It’s funny you mention that, as we are using the money from last year’s R&D claim to invest in further research and development to launch (drum roll) making coffee pods. Instead of just freshly roasted, top quality coffee beans delivered through your letterbox, we are looking to diversify into freshly roasted, top quality coffee pods to be delivered through your letterbox so … watch this space.
P: That’s great – really exciting things on Pact’s horizon then. Glad we were able to help out in a small way. My final question is probably the toughest … what’s your favourite type of coffee?
L: That’s a tough one. If forced, I would have to say our limited edition Filadelphia Natural … but that’s only if I’m forced.