Should coffee shops that support ethical coffee offer information on their products? I have been thinking about this question quite a lot recently. In many ways, this is because I have started to dig deeper into the benefits of ethical coffee. Overall I have come to the conclusion that, however interested one may be about the topic they will always search for information; but what about those who ask for ethical and know nothing about it, or only just a little? They should be informed through practical ways, and should not be limited to the Internet.
There are a few ways that a coffee shop can and should (but general don’t) inform people about the ethical coffee.
- They can advertise the brand. Advertising is a very obvious one and most people/shops do this already. However, some of the advertisements should include images/words near the coffee machine or coffee production area. Have it so that people can see it at the till when they go and pay for their take-away coffee. This will remind them of the social and larger benefits that they are contributing to.
- Maybe have a couple of books, or magazines scattered around the shop that deal with the issue of ethical coffee. This will entice people to read a bit about the coffee industry while waiting for their coffee, especially if they are recent publications and not 10-5 years old.
- Provide information and tell people why you are selling ethically sourced coffee. If you can, print out a little booklet or a single sheet of paper giving reasons as to why you think ethical coffee is important. Maybe make it a little humorous and entertaining, or personalize and stylize it to suit your taste.
- Use social media to your benefit. If you are using social media, add bookmarks to websites or articles and link them to your account. You don’t need to go overboard, but as a small coffee shop and business owner it may just add that extra bit of care in your product. People want to see that they are making that little bit of difference.
These are just some ways of making your coffee shop seem a little bit more ‘real.’ Just by saying you use ethical coffee is a step towards making a difference but sharing information and knowledge is more powerful. Follow the rule, and take a little but give a little more. You’ll see the difference.