Lyons Eryl Hall team up with Mug Run Coffee in Rhyl to fundraise for Macmillan and support sustainable and ethical coffee-growing worldwide ahead of International Coffee Day!
Coffee: it’s a product that’s become an everyday item to billions of people worldwide, and is considered by many households as an item that’s as essential as perhaps food. Or toothpaste. Or wine. Worldwide, there are thousands of coffee producers ranging from the most high-end brands seen in 5* hotels, to the most basic blenders stocking value jars on shelves.
In this current society, where it’s as easy to get your hands on a cup of coffee as it is for someone to ask you to sanitise them, we really wanted to focus on the refreshingly real roasters that make up our local community. Mug Run Coffee, a relatively new business on the North Welsh coffee scene, have a very different and much more personal approach to the mass-producing giants in the industry.
Sit down, brew up, and get ready for a riveting read as Beth Hughes, PR Executive for Lyons sits down with the wonderful Aisha and Tim on International Coffee Day.
Beth: It’s International Coffee Day today! Where would you say your coffee reaches in the world?
Tim: We’re happy to say that Mug Run Coffee has not only been enjoyed all over the UK but also internationally including Mallorca, Israel, the USA and New Zealand.
How far has Mug Run developed since the early days and where do you see the business in 5 years?
Aisha: Soooo far! In the early days, Tim roasted coffee using a small home roaster in a garden shed and ran everything himself with his mum Meryl helping with events. Now Tim likes to say that we roast in a larger shed, hence the name of our house blend ‘Shed’.
We have a roastery where we have a much larger purpose-built coffee roaster (aka Norma) and the amount of coffee Mug Run produces has increased significantly. But we remain a family run business, Meryl is still very much involved with Tim and his partner Aisha managing the business between them.
Tell us more about your commitment to ethically/ responsibly sourced beans – do you have any ongoing projects at the moment?
When we choose our coffee, we consider many different things, for example, continents and flavours that will complement each other, however, we also tend to buy from the cooperatives that will benefit the most. All our beans are traceable back to source and the company we buy our coffees from are also committed to ethical sourcing, they ensure that the coffee growers are paid and managed fairly so we can be confident in the decisions we make.
We have made a commitment to support The Coffee Gardens in Uganda, a project set up by our importer to improve the income and livelihood of the farmers, along with protecting the environment. Their coffee is really special, they are currently fundraising to expand operations so if you’d like to donate please go to their website.
How has the pandemic impacted you as a local producer of goods?
Tim: As with everyone, there were times during the pandemic where things felt uncertain and of course we were impacted, however, we also had time to think. During lockdown we updated our branding and focussed on maintaining existing and developing new relationships, such as the one with Lyons. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our customers and stockists for their support during this time, it is greatly appreciated.
Your coffee brand has that authentic homely feel – was that easy to create and how do you nurture that perception?
Tim has always wanted to make coffee accessible to everyone, so this is really good to hear. It’s sort of easy in that we are ourselves and we enjoy what we do – something that is particularly important to us when having your own business.
Even the Welsh vibe represents who we are with Tim and Meryl being Welsh speakers from the North and myself coming from the South. We like to promote Wales and work with other local craft people and businesses as much as possible. We’re authentic to who we are and want to share this with others.
How are Lyons and Mug Run working together?
This year more than ever has highlighted the importance of supporting one another – not just our friends and family, but businesses too. After the Covid-19 pandemic caused a barren few months on the otherwise bustling North Welsh coast, the marketing team at Lyons decided it was fundamental to work alongside other companies in the area, both old and new.
Mug Run Coffee will be featuring in Lyons Owners’ Discount Location Guide this year, which includes dozens of discounts and incentives at cafes, restaurants, tourist attractions and family days out in the region – including the scrumptious products of Mug Run Coffee!
What about International Coffee Day?
Both Lyons and Mug Run are committed to supporting causes close to their hearts, which is why the two North Welsh companies are hosting an owners-only event at one of the countryside parks in St Asaph – with their own spin on the most well-known coffee morning in the UK. Beth said: “Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the biggest charities out there when it comes to well-known fundraising ideas. Now things are more normal than they have been in months, we really wanted to host something fun and different for our owners at Lyons Eryl Hall to get together, have a catch-up, and have some yummy goods.
“Mug Run had already approached us earlier in the year to work together on an event similar to the cheese and wine night at Robin Hood in the spring with another local business. We thought hosting a Macmillan coffee morning was a perfect idea, where we could put something on for our owners and also invite an up and coming business to a place where our customers return to, year on year, month after month. It’s all about helping grow and nurture the community around us, and this event was the perfect way to do that.”