Unassumingly nestled along the busy Conway Street in St Helier sits a tiny coffee shop that loads a massive punch. Dandy! Now celebrating its third birthday Dandy was initially founded by Jamie Hooker and Dustin Moore but is now owned and managed by Jamie, Hannah Harvey and Dan Houze.
Despite’s its tiny size, don’t underestimate this awesome coffee shop. It is so far ahead of the game in terms of quality of produce and, just as importantly for me, its environment impact.
Take for instance the coffee used by the Dandy baristas. Sourced from AllPress in Dalston, London the coffee blend used is their key Redchurch Blend. The fair trade coffee is hot-air roasted on a weekly basis in London and shipped to Jersey, where Dandy are currently using up to 30kg a week! They have a precise preparation routine for their coffee, from the way the coffee is ground to order, to the length of time it pours from the beautiful handmade La Marzocco Coffee machine. And the end result – divine coffee, however you take it.
But that’s not the end of the coffee story. The bags themselves are re-utilised further, filled with the spent coffee grounds which are then used by local farmer Justin Le Gresley at Anneville Farm. The coffee grounds are added as part of the home-made compost process, which is then turned in to compost tea to promote beneficial microbiology for the soil on the farm. You can read more about Anneville Farm here – Farming comes naturally at Anneville Farm. Dandy also have a wormery where they add their organic food waste. So that’s a zero-waste win for Dandy.
The tea on sale in Dandy is T2. Originally established in Melbourne Australia over 25 years ago, the company have since grown to a global brand based on the quality and selection of their teas – both tradional and innovative pairings. Dandy stocks a huge collection, so why not pop along and give some of them a try. There is a real Australian vibes going on in here – in the products it sources as well as its ethics!
What really brought Dandy to my attention was the introduction of Keepcups into the island. Already well ahead of their competitors at the time, Dandys coffee cups and lids are fully biodegradable as they are made from plant starch and not plastic. (Typical disposable coffee cups aren’t made from recycled paper. Most cups are manufactured using 100% bleached virgin paperboard and sprayed with a polyethylene coating, often impregnated with toxic dyes which also make them difficult to recycle!). All Dandys greaseproof paper, bags, knives, forks, spoons, sleeves, cups, pots and trays are fully biodegradable and compostable. But Dandy decided to go the further mile and introduced KeepCups into their coffee shop. With over 500 billion disposable cups made globally every year, just think about the impact if users switched to KeepCups instead!
KeepCups on average only use 5% of raw materials in their manufacture, meaning that 95% are recycled materials. Not only are we reducing single use plastics waste by choosing to use a KeepCup, but we are also taking more plastic and glass waste out of the waste stream too! Dandy stock a selection of the most popular glass and plastic KeepCups, or you can go online to order a specific size or colour – http://uk.keepcup.com. The good news is that if you buy your KeepCup from Dandy – the first coffee is on the house.
Dandy want to encourage the use of reusable cups so when you buy one from them you get a discount every time you use it. And to make paying even simpler Dandy have introduced Frank Green smart cups into the coffee shop too, which means that you can pay for your coffee by simply scanning your cup. Frank Green, another type of long life keep cup, donates a portion of its profits to Earth Watch, which in turn has helped over 100,000 people join leading scientists on crucial environmental research projects around the world. Earthwatch has invested in around 1,400 conservation research projects in more than 120 countries. And around 4,000 students and 5,000 educators have benefited from Earthwatch fellowships. So you can sip your fair trade coffee, zero waste and safe in knowledge that the simple action of picking up a coffee in a certain way leads to positive environmental impacts, not negative.
Another awesome idea recently introduced into Dandy are Yuhme water bottles. These bottles are made from a bioplastic called GreeTM Polyethylene. When I first heard the word plastic it immediately put me off the product – but this is not a plastic made from non-renewable petroleum-based fossil fuels. Green PE is a bioplastic made from an easily renewable source – sugar cane! And not only that but Green PE has a negative CO2 impact – because sugar cane is a plant that sequesters CO2 as it grows, and the way in which post production waste is managed (burning, collecting steam to create electricity, using what is needed in the factory then returning excess to the grid) Green PE actually has a negative CO2 impact – taking carbon out of the atmosphere! For every ton of Green PE produced, there is an estimated -2.3 tons of CO2. The bottles are also fully recycleable at end of life as you would a standard plastic bottle.
But Yuhme is the water bottle that keeps on giving. For every one water bottle purchased Yuhme, through their partners Water for Good, provide clean water for one person in the Central African Republic for 6 months. And if you buy a Yuhme water bottle from Dandy you can go and fill up from their state-of-the-art water filtration system whenever you like. Another zero waste option from Dandy!
And I haven’t even started on Dandys food! The menu is made up of the finest ingredients, locally sourced where possible and in line with the seasonal availability . From Chia breakfast, to Dandy toast to Chicken congee all are freshly made to order on the premises, ready for you to devour. Dandy recently signed up to OLIO, the food sharing revolution currently taking Jersey by storm. This means that should there be any food left over at the end of the day, instead of it going into the bin as waste, it is offered to OLIO and OLIO users can come and collect. Another zero waste win!
So if you really do want to pick up a guilt free coffee and some delicious food, you won’t go wrong taking a gentle stroll down Conway Street and popping into visit the great team at Dandy. If you follow them on social media, you’ll see that they have some very exciting news building too! See https://www.dandycoffeeshop.com or visit them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Off for a coffee!