This week I was honoured to sit down with a truly inspiring business owners, that is paving the way towards a more sustainable form of business and living, Mark from Ocean Grind.
Ocean Grind is a family owned and operated Torquay (Surf Coast) coffee roaster and café, with a passion for delicious and sustainably produced coffee, ocean health and their local community.
To learn more about what inspired Mark to start his business, the efforts they make to be more sustainable and what he feels is required to stop plastic pollution, read my full interview below.
Why did you choose to begin Ocean Grind?
“ I got inspired to begin the business while backpacking overseas, coffee was a part of my daily ritual and I came across this café in Nicaragua where they were making coffee on their counter in a popcorn popper. This got me thinking about home roasting and let to me roasting in my garage when I got home.
At this stage I wasn’t loving my job as an engineer, so I thought, I wanted to have a crack at something I am passionate about.
So here I am, 5 years later :) "
Tell me about your product today, where does it come from and how do you make it?
“ We import our product from trusted importers all around the world, where they come in as green beans, which is the seed from inside the coffee cherry, from which we roast them and try to get the best flavour from that particular coffee. We then we combine them and do different blends, based on what flavours we want to create and then package them up for people to enjoy at home or have here in café."
With your product, what have you done to make sure it is as sustainable and ethical as possible?
"We do this right from sourcing, where we get as much information as we can from our importers about their farms and if they are using sustainable farm practices. This could be through the soil they use, to help look after the local bird life or re-using the cherry skins from the coffee as compost.
In terms of packaging, it has always been a hard one, we have always used compostable packaging as we feel it’s the lesser of evils and all our bags are re-useable with a re-useable seal on them. With some customers bringing them back 20 x over, which is wonderful.
We also sell coffee tins, so people can bring the tins in or their own Tupperware to purchase bulk coffee, from which we offer a $1 discount. As well as a 50c discount when bringing your own takeaway cup in to our café, or should you forget your cup we have a mug library, where you can take one of our colourful ceramic mugs.
With our wholesale and café partners, we encourage them to use the bulk tins instead of individual packaging.
Our used coffee grinds are also packaged up and put out the front of our Café for customers to take home and put in their garden, or if we get a backlog, our neighbours at South Port Garden Supplies, allow us to put them in their compost. "
What are the main changes we need to see in our community or world wide, in regards to seeing a change in plastic pollution?
"For our community or even further afield, I think a big focus needs to be on packaging and single use items. Businesses need to foster and encourage positive behaviour, by making it easy for people to have sustainable alternatives. If they forget their cup, have other cups for them to use, if they forget their bag, have a cardboard box from them to use.
We just want to make it easy and accessible for people, to the point when it just comes normal and everyone is doing it.
This will help reduce the need for single use packaging, which is better for our oceans and beaches. "
Thanks so much for checking in guys and I highly recommend you stop by Ocean Grind for a coffee if you’re in the Torquay area, as this is certainly the best coffee I have ever had!
And keep an eye out for their new website coming soon to order it online xxx
All photos & video captured by myself (unless stated otherwise)