In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and change-makers working on innovative startups, social enterprises and SME’s around Aotearoa New Zealand.

At a glance

Founders: Adrian Palmer, Nigel Cottle, Paul Fletcher, Anashuya Fletcher, John Robertson, Vernon Omeri

Business: Common Good Coffee NZ

Founded: 2021

HQ: Canterbury

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Our profit for purpose business, Common Good Coffee, exists to spark more good in places of extreme poverty and modern slavery.

We achieve this by roasting and selling coffee; committing $5 from every kilogram we sell, to this mahi. Since launching we have redistributed over $200,000. Our money goes to our team at Joyya; a social enterprise based in Kolkata India – who offer ‘good’ jobs (in the wholesale garment area), ‘good’ social supports and ‘good’ neighbouring in places where the challenges are intense.

We are driven in wanting to make a positive and empowering impact in places that are hugely vulnerable; sparking hope and transformation where many believe its not possible. Alongside this, however, our team are passionaite about coffee – running two of the largest cafes in New Zealand (Crave Cafe and Addington Coffee Co-op). And with this, our values, have seen us choose only the best organic Fairtrade coffee beans.

We cheekly say we are #3timesasgood; good to the growers, good in the cup, and good with what we do with the money made. With that mind, we are driven to grow and help bring more resource to the work we are doing in places of extreme poverty and modern slavery.

While supplying a number of cafes, we primarily supply offices and large organisations around Aotearoa who are keen to provide their workforce with quality coffee with a story that they feel proud to participate in.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

Three groups of friends, who shares a passion for business, hospitality and social justice – decided to get together and form a new coffee brand that could make a larger impact and also, hopefully, inspire people to think creatively around business being both sustainable but also a vehicle for doing good.

The group who make up Common Good Coffee are a bunch of mates who are also behind Addington Coffee Co-op in Christchurch, Crave and Kind Cafes in Auckland, and the new Common Good Coffee Truck in Wellington.

We’ve partnered for good, because we reckon that we’re better working together, and that alongside a growing tribe of folk, we can unite to make a positive difference in our wider world, (and drink amazing coffee along the way!)

We all had a shared passion for great coffee, awesome hospitality, and for wanting to make a great impact in areas of extreme poverty and modern slavery.

What programmes, learning or mentoring, or resources have been of assistance so far?

We often pull in other leaders in various industries (not solely in the hospitality or coffee business) and invite them to share their story and throw them a bunch of questions (often on Zoom) with our core team. This has led to some invaluable nuggets along the way in terms of leadership, setting culture, analysing systems etc.

Listening to any podcast or opinion piece by marketing guru Seth Godin has been helpful. And classic business and leadership books like Good to Great by Jim Collins have had some good things for our team to consider.


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