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Get Nespresso-compatible pods, freshly roasted products, organic teas and brewing gadgets with Hessian Coffee Company's new at-home range



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Two entrepreneurs who know all about coffee have brewed up a new strand to their brand in order to pivot during the pandemic and add to their portfolio.

Friends Neil Clark and Niall McCrae went into business together five years ago and have built up their Hessian Coffee Company, supplying local commercial customers such as restaurants, cafés, hotels and offices.

Now, with the coronavirus crisis presenting real challenges, the pair have launched Hessian@home to provide a range of freshly roasted products, Nespresso-compatible pods, organic teas and brewing gadgets to the domestic market for people to enjoy high-quality hot beverages in the comfort of their own homes.

Neil Clark and Niall McCrae of the Hessian Coffee Company have launched an at-home range. Picture: Vikki Lince
Neil Clark and Niall McCrae of the Hessian Coffee Company have launched an at-home range. Picture: Vikki Lince

Neil, 47, lives in Bishop's Stortford with wife Louise and their three boys Finlay, 17, Charlie, 14, and Murray, 11, all of whom attend Birchwood High School, where Finlay is head boy.

Niall, 48, resides in Little Hallingbury, where the company is based, with his wife Stephanie. They have four sons: James, 19, is a trainee solicitor, Harry, 17, is at Birchwood while Oliver, 15, and William, 11, both go to The Bishop's Stortford High School.

Neil was brought up in Wimbledon in south-west London. After training as a chef at catering college, he worked at the likes of the Ritz and Harrods before swapping kitchens for a role as training manager with Whitbread and Stella Artois.

After being made redundant in 2003, he went on to get a job with a Glasgow-based coffee roaster and fell in love with the industry, working in sales and manufacturing as well as judging at speciality coffee championships.

Niall's entrepreneurial journey began when, at the age of 21, he set up a telemarketing insurance agency specialising in motor insurance before selling up and starting software agency Sigmer Technologies with his eldest brother Malcolm in 1999. The business was soon working with Government agencies and FTSE 100 companies.

After 14 years of working across a number of disciplines, Niall decided he needed a change from working away from home a lot of the time and wanted a new challenge.

The friends are both heavily involved at Bishop's Stortford Rugby Football Club – Neil has been a minis coach for the last six years and is part of the club's JOCA initiative for mental health and wellbeing, while Niall is the club's vice-chairman and has been a coach and minis chairman. They got talking and decided to take the plunge by combining their expertise to start their own business in 2015.

Hessian Coffee (43312827)
Hessian Coffee (43312827)

It began life as a subscription-based company called Bean Delivered, with a different single-origin coffee being roasted every month and posted to customers.

They acquired a Saffron Walden-based coffee company in the same year which gave them a commercial customer base to develop. After operating as a partnership for a few years, the Hessian Coffee Company became limited in 2018 and has gone from strength to strength.

Sensing the time was right to pivot and expand their offering in the pandemic, the friends have spent lots of time researching what home-based consumers are looking for as well as building web campaigns with a social media focus.

"Lockdown has affected us all in ways never imagined as cafés, restaurants, hotels, garden centres, places of work and venues for exercise and worship have either ceased or are operating with minimal trading capabilities. Our business, like everyone's, has suffered," said Neil.

"One of the benefits of a small business means that we make decisions and act quickly, so we have pivoted the Hessian Coffee Company and introduced Hessian@home, an adapted version of our early business Bean Delivered.

"We have selected a range of quality espresso beans which are roasted locally, a tea brand with over 60 Great Taste awards, Fairtrade Colombian pods (Nespresso compatible), coffee bags – like tea bags but full of delicious coffee – and a host of other products, none of which are available in the shops, for our @home customers to enjoy."

Hessian Coffee (43312825)
Hessian Coffee (43312825)

Neil and Niall are hoping to continue improving brand awareness before looking to expand nationally.

Go to www.hessiancoffee.com and www.facebook.com/hessiancoffee to find out more. Follow @HessianCoffee on Twitter.



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