Just because you are a small business, it doesn’t mean you cannot have global ambitions. Just ask Scott Russell, founder and CEO of Paddy & Scott’s, and craft coffee pioneer.
Paddy & Scott’s grow, roast and distribute coffee, machinery and ancillary products throughout the UK and beyond. Just 10 years old, and from humble beginnings, they are a proudly edgy brand now regarded as the ‘go-to’ place for those looking for authenticity and a refreshing change from the corporate coffee companies saturating the high street.
From the company’s HQ in The Bean Barn, Earl Soham (near Woodbridge), Scott Russell is working on ambitious expansion plans both within the UK and across the world.
But not only that, the business is supporting its growers through its Paddy & Scott’s Meru Farm and Community Project in Kenya, linking coffee drinkers straight to the people growing, picking and processing their coffee and reinvesting in the farm as well as the wider coffee-growing community.
In fact, Paddy & Scott’s has just launched a coffee called Jerry Can, which is inspired by the work it has achieved on its coffee farm, and named in honour of the Ruiga School children who used to carry jerry cans of water along the busy road every day to their school. As part of its ground-breaking Project, Paddy & Scott’s then funded a 6.5m fresh-water pipeline so that the children can ditch the jerry cans and get back to enjoying their days in their classroom.
‘Commerce can be a driver for good,’ he says. ‘We are supporting a housing project for the workers on our farm, and we are looking to support an orphanage in Rwanda.
‘Authenticity is going to be the new currency,’ he notes. ‘If consumers believe the growers and the farmers are getting unfairly treated they will start buying from companies that are sharing that profit. For the millennials coming through this can be incredibly important to them.’
Scott’s dynamic and enthusiastic approach has caught the eye after he was listed as one of the country’s top 100 influential business leaders by Grant Thornton in 2017 named by Lord Young and former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy as one of the UK’s top companies geared for growth.
‘We call our coffee ‘fuel’,’ explains Scott. ‘Our business is about fuelling ambition. It started off in my garage at the back of my house with a £2,000 roaster, and it was three years ago that I decided to take the business international.’
Dubai, China, Sweden and the Netherlands are now within its international remit and Scott is now focusing on Expo 2020 in Dubai.
‘The world wants Great British products, they really do. Exporting will be massive, we have just opened up an office in Dubai. Our aspiration is to be a British halo company in 2020,’ he says.
By working with larger companies Scott believes the business can realise significant growth opportunities and also open the eyes of big business to more entrepreneurial ways of doing things.
‘We can stand on the shoulders of giants, but to do that we have got to be ambitious,’ he says. ‘You have got to be positive, and have great people around you.’
- Paddy and Scott’s has a flagship café in the heart of Bury St Edmunds, a 64-seat espresso bar in Hadleigh, and a coffee shop at BP Tothill, near Stowmarket.
Featured in issue 34 – March 2019