How Green Bridge Organics Started…
Six years ago, my husband Fasil and I decided, against our more rational judgement, to leave London and pursue a more low-impact, organic lifestyle. We ended up in Findhorn, Scotland, where the local people are really friendly, the countryside is stunning, the culture is surprisingly vibrant, and there is a wonderful eco-community in the area. It’s a great location for those interested in ‘crossing the Green Bridge’ – weaning yourself off the luxuries of high-consumption for a more sustainable way of life.
Whilst we love it here and have since got married and welcomed our daughter, there was a serious lack of high-quality, organic coffee. For Fasil, Ethiopian by birth, this was just too much to tolerate. And so was born Green Bridge Organics, a family-run, organic coffee roasting company. The idea is to support organic producers and consumers, the local economy, and my husband’s only addiction –tasty fresh coffee without chemicals and without a negative impact on farmers’ land.
Green Bridge Organics’ logo…
A question everyone asks is, Why the cartoon donkey? You either love it or you hate it! And you have to admit it is light-hearted and fun, even if it doesn’t immediately convey a grown-up coffee brand… We even kind of like its lack of professionalism – we are trying to simplify our life and take ourselves less seriously, and that somehow expresses that.
The donkey itself is super-important to Fasil. Firstly, donkeys traditionally carry the coffee beans over the mountains in Ethiopia. Secondly, Fasil believes that donkeys are the most under-valued, under-estimated creatures on our planet. Whilst thought of as stupid and stubborn, they are in fact super-determined and intelligent, and without them farmers and traders would have had to carry the damn goods themselves, because few other animals would do it so reliably. (I think he relates a little bit). Who better to carry us across the Green Bridge!?
The struggles of converting to an organic, low-impact lifestyle:
I have to admit that, for me, the donkey more just conveys how I feel most of the time as I try to get our household more self-sufficient. You know, things like growing beansprouts on the windowsill and a veggie patch in the garden… The beansprouts happened once, and all I do in the garden, with a lively 2-year-old, is continuously pull the weeds out the raised beds – there are no actual veggies in there yet… But next year….!!! Thank goodness for the local organic veggie box scheme, Roots Fruits and Leaves. More about them in another blog.
So that’s us! Do come and find us at Findhorn Park. On Thursday mornings we do taster sessions in the Phoenix Café there, so you can decide which one of our beans you want and hear about their stories from plant to cup. Hope to see you there!
Sally Bogale (firstname.lastname@example.org)