Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Coffee company success despite financial climate

Have you heard of Matthew Algie, the coffee roasting company? It's a Glaswegian company and is doing well, notwithstanding the recession, global downturn and other financial wrinkles thank you very much.

Secretly, many of us will be heartened by this news. So much financial boom time seems to be built on confidence in the market and so forth, that word of increased profits and business success is something to be celebrated.

Matthew Algie is in fact said to be the biggest independent roaster in the UK roasting coffee for coffee machines. Although there has been an increase in the cost of certain items, the company is reporting an upturn in profits. The company put the reason for this phenomenon down to the preference of consumers for a little treat from time to time. They believe that, despite the cutbacks and frugal practices that are being implemented in homes around the country, people are still managing to enjoy a decent cup of coffee made with coffee machines. Life's little treats and luxuries can make hardships more palatable, after all.

So which customers does Matthew Algie supply? The list of clients is said to be rather impressive. Their coffee is sold to various hotels and other retailers including big names such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and the Houses of Parliament.

And how good is business? Apparently there was an increase in the operating profit of the Matthew Algie company in 2010 of 12% and a healthy growth in turnover of about 10%.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

National Coffee Day in the United States

The coffee culture in the United States of America is a strong one – the caffeine beverage seeps into many parts of daily life in the country. And just to celebrate the important role of coffee made in coffee machines in their culture, the Yanks have dedicated 29 September 2011 as National Coffee Day.

What does this mean in practice? Several well-known national eatery chains are encouraging the public to partake in a cup of joe but discounting or offering a free drink to customers.

Coffee is ingrained, to a certain extent, in the American psyche it would appear. In a recent survey, it was revealed that three out of every five Americans who took part in the survey confirmed that they needed a cuppa to kick start their day.

In another survey, it has been reported that some careers are more coffee-centric than others. Participants in the survey disclosed that they feel they need to have a good dose of caffeine to make it through the day. Top of the list were scientists and those technicians who work in laboratories, followed by professionals in the marketing and public relations industry, then administrators or educators.

There have been various surveys which concentrate on the scientific effects of coffee on the body too. One of the most recent ones sought to investigate the connection between depression and caffeine consumption. According to a published report, women who drank between 2 and 3 cups of coffee made using coffee machines each day were statistically less likely to be depressed (although more research is necessary to go into more detail on the subject).

Monday, 10 October 2011

The World's Biggest Coffee Morning

As you've probably heard, the cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support is holding the World's Biggest Coffee Morning using coffee machines on 30 September to raise funds. The charity works to help those who have the disease and also to offer support to those who are close to cancer victims.

As this is a subject that touches many people in the UK, there has been a huge response to the call to raise money. Across the length and breadth of the country, people are organising events large and small, extravagant and quiet, to support the cause and fund-raise for Macmillan.

For example, here are some of the things that are going on:

In Scotland, on 29 September, the local MP of Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) opened his office to his constituents. They were invited to step inside for a cuppa and also to learn about the work done by Macmillan.

In southern England, in West Sussex, a local garden centre is similarly supporting the charity by holding a coffee morning using coffee machines. The Old Barn Nursery & Garden Centre is opening its doors on 30 September during the morning and will be providing complimentary tea and coffee.

In the north of England, things are getting busy too. In Scarborough, for example, a series of events have been organised. On 29 September, the Grand Hotel in St Nicholas Cliff held a gathering and on 30 September, the official day of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning – Samwedges, St Dean's Garden Centre, Plaxton Court and Bon Marche are just a few of the venues in the country to get involved.

Friday, 7 October 2011

M&S support Macmillan Cancer Support

It will have been difficult to ignore the fact that the excellent cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, is on a mission to raise significant funds in the month of September, as part of its World's Biggest Coffee Morning campaign.

The profile of the charity is much-loved and many people in Britain can vouch for the way the organisation has offered support and care for those who are suffering from cancer and also those who are indirectly affected by the trauma of seeing those they love with the disease.

On 30 September, the coffee-drinking campaign will climax and the charity hopes to raise £8.5 million for its causes.

Another much-loved British institution – Marks & Spencer – is also joining in with the worthwhile campaign. As reported in the Daily Mirror recently, the company has its own strategy to get us to sip our coffee and nibble on some cake while simultaneously raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support possibly using catering equipment.

What is M&S doing? They have promised that 50 pence from every cup of coffee which it sells in the M&S cafes on the date of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning (30 September), will go towards the fund. Added to this gesture of goodwill, 10 pence from certain cake products will also be donated to the cause which involved not much in the way of catering equipment. So if you enjoy caffeine, have a conscience and can persuade yourself to indulge with a little Marks & Spencer Victoria sponge cake ( or something similar), why not pop into your local branch next week to support the charity?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Coffee helps Alzhiemer's charity

You may have seen in the local news that in the UK the cancer charity, Macmillan Cancer Support is organising the World's Biggest Coffee Morning to help those who are affected by the disease. Coffee is similarly being used as a way to bring people together and raise funds for another good cause in Canada. 'Coffee Break' is a successful scheme that has been running for the past 16 years to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society on a national basis. And it has made serious amounts of cash too – in 2010, for example, Coffee Breaks using coffee machines in Canada managed to rustle up $1.27 million for the good cause.

The Coffee Break series was launched last week and one of the participating contributors was Fairmont Home for the local branch of the charity in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Last year, the Fairmont Home raised an impressive $1,300. This particular branch has ambitious goals in this year's Coffee Break using coffee machines and wants to raise $63,000 at the various coffee mornings in the area.

The Alzheimer's Society does wonderful work with those suffering from the disease. It is run by volunteers and gives support, imparts knowledge and training plus advocacy for those who have certain dementia problems. In addition, the organisation uses some of the monies it raises to try to find a cure for the disease which affects so many people.

There is now a sleek procedure to help those who want to hold a fund-raising event for the Coffee Break programme. The kit which will be supplied by the organisation also includes the coffee.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

What's happening in Devon and Buckinghamshire?

All over the UK, gatherings small and large are being organised to raise funds for the Macmillan Cancer Support World's Biggest Coffee Morning using coffee machines. Strictly speaking, the 'event' is to take place on 30 September 2011 but money raising events are happening all the month. The main thing is to raise funds for this important cause. So many people are affected, either directly or indirectly, by cancer that it is a charity which is close to the hearts of many.

What is happening in Devon, for example? This is a county that should be proud of itself. In 2010, published figures indicate that around £130,000 was raised for Macmillan and of course this year it is hoped that last year's record will be smashed.

And there is every chance it may be – already over 1,000 coffee morning events have been scheduled. Jo Amor in Tiverton is one such example. However, if you are in Devon on 30 September, the chances are you will not be far away from an event.

Buckinghamshire is another county with a big heart and where plans are afoot to hold coffee mornings. In Tingewick Village Hall there will be a good old traditional coffee morning event. As well as drinking coffee made with coffee machines, visitors to the local hall will be able to buy cakes at the local cake stall, or purchase craft items from the stalls. Games will also be available. The organisers of the event also ask for additional donations of books or puzzles or other gifts that are in good condition and could be re-homed, while raising money for the cancer charity.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Local food festivals a good way to raise profile

At this time of year, food festivals abound to coincide with the traditional harvest when nature yields up many of her edible treasures. Given the increasing popularity of locally sourced produce and local talent, this is an excellent opportunity for brands to showcase their skills and products to their community – both raising profiles and also, potentially, cash.

For example, as recently reported in the Telegraph, there is to be a nine-day harvest festival in Cornwall from the 1 – 9 October this year. Local chefs will be attending the event to give advice to the visitors on how to maximise on the harvest from their garden. In addition, there will be cookery demonstrations using catering equipment and food tastings – there are a few big names also taking part, including Norman Musa from the Ning Restaurant and Michael Smith from Porthminster CafĂ©.

The Eden Project will also feature with some of their food producers to hand. There will be apple pressing and cider making workshops, plus bakery lessons too. In good old-fashioned tradition, visitors can also learn the arts of bottling and preserving. This taps in well to the current preoccupation of saving money and home-made produce which has been triggered by the economic climate and also the importance of environmentally friendly food and using catering equipment.

The food-centred attractions will be supplemented by arts, crafts, music and dancing.

Another local example is the St James Harvest Festival in Manchester. Again, local artisans will attend and a 'famous Chilli Cook Off' is planned together with a Food Grill and Healthy Foods Table.