Solar & Sugar

Running a cafe is hard enough without having to worry about what mischief your suppliers are getting up while your back is turned. Maybe this is an entitled attitude, but I just feel like I should be able to rely on these people, you know? Take our coffee roaster. I’ve been working with them for almost ten years now, since the Brisbane days, and now we have this highly functional professional relationship that doesn’t require any additional maintenance. They know me, and I know them.

I wish I could say the same for our new sugar supplier. I had a weird feeling about them from the start. Still, I went with them because they’re on the same street as the coffee roaster, so we can get everything shipped together at a reduced rate. Plus, they seemed to have big plans for commercial solar installation. Brisbane is a great place for solar, so it lined up, despite the fact that the owner seemed oddly cynical about the whole thing. She had a rather greenwash-y attitude, if you ask me. 

Fast-forward six months and they’ve shown no signs of setting up the PV system, which would be understandable if they weren’t talking so much hot air about it. It’s like, I’m fine with your constant waxing lyrical around the benefits of the Tesla powerwall, but there comes a point when you have to own that you’re not taking any action to support your grandiose talk. 

Here’s the kicker: I’ve just found out that the owner has acquired a coal mining company. Who’d have guessed that someone who runs a boutique baking sugar operation would be so loaded? More to the point, what do I do with this information? Mint Cafe, as you may or may not be aware, has an environmental policy, which includes not buying from suppliers who conduct environmentally unethical business practices. 

Maybe it’s time we started everything from scratch. As much as I like my trustworthy coffee supplier, shipping coffee from Brisbane doesn’t sit so well with my thoughts on food miles. Neither does coffee in general, come to think of it.