5 mins with Ben Charalambous and Alice Wainwright of RiSE

Hi there, it’s so great to meet you, you’ve launched a product during a global pandemic… so talk us through…

What made you do that? But they say  timing is everything so is there a method in the madness?

We were in lockdown sitting on our doorstep taking in the sunshine, talking about how much we were going to miss coffee culture when lockdown first struck. We also noticed how many delivery vans there were and began contemplating what a business would look like after 2020 and realised that subscriptions really were part of our daily lives.

We knew there were coffee companies already delivering coffee, but they didn’t offer the variety, excitement or customer experience we were looking for. We felt that there was a real opportunity to offer something different.

A day in the life of Rise…

No two days are the same! Alice and I run the business ourselves with the help of our freelancer crew who assist with marketing, blogging, accounts, packing, and design! One minute we are agreeing a partnership deal, the next optimising our paid search, then onto designing our next flyer, before we know it we are in our unit packing 100’s of boxes…

Alice and I have tried to create more structure as we have grown with check in meetings with each other, and weekly game plans agreed.

The inspiration behind the name.

RiSE was a play on words to how you feel in the morning with a good cup of coffee. We want people to jump out of bed, sip a fantastic coffee, and get the day started with a smile on your face. We feel that RiSE really makes us feel that way!

Is this your dream job?

It’s certainly close! We love discovering new food & drinks brands and products that tickle the taste buds, especially those from the UK. We have recently launched into English wine, and hope to expand the RiSE offering further. Ultimately we want to continue building RiSE into a well known food & drink subscription brand and our dream is to have our office nestled in the countryside where we run workshops and visitor days.

You aim to educate people about coffee but tell me…What is your favourite coffee ?

Our coffee obsession began with Allpress in Melbourne, however since we have been on this journey our tastes have changed. We personally love medium roasted, washed coffee from central and south America however we have discovered some fantastic geishas, as well as some new emerging origins such as Papa New Guinea and China.

As a busy mum & Stylist, I inhale coffee ️ but often don’t consider the true cost of what I drink from an ethical standpoint –sustainability  is a big part of your philosophy isn’t it?

It is. The coffee industry has so many moving parts with many breakdowns in the supply chain. There are so many issues such as low farmers wages, packaging and wastage. We work closely with all of our partners and try to find partners that match our ethos. We have previously worked with roasters who used sugar cane packaging, others who focus on female owned farms in Uganda, as well as working with Too Good To Go to stop wastage. As well as this, we always look for those with the fair trade stamp

Are we now a nation of coffee drinkers?

Alice and I were initially inspired by the coffee scene in Sydney and Melbourne when we lived there 7 or 8 years ago. The outdoor lifestyle and cafe culture had us hooked. The UK has really started to get on board with the same cafe culture with amazing coffee & roasters to be found all over the UK. The styles, tastes, branding here are truly exceptional. We read a stat recently that we consume 2 cups of coffee per person per day! We are trying to inspire everyone to start drinking delicious, speciality hand roasted coffee and move away from instant!

As a successful business yourself. What advice would you give to other start-ups?

Keep going. It’s hard, it’s tough, there will be lots of ups and downs but overall it’s totally worth it! There is no feeling like creating your own successful brand. As we approach our 18 month mark, you do really start to realise why so many businesses fail as the pressure and relentless required can be overwhelming but you just have to find the fun and keep going!

Who or what inspires you in your everyday life?

We are inspired daily by a few brands such as Abel and Co, Freddies Flowers, Beer 52, and Pasta Evangelists. Being in the subscription world we really look up to these guys who are doing incredibly well. Freddie at Freddies flowers has such a wholesome website with incredible sustainability missions which we love. We always see their staff on bikes around London delivering their flowers. We recently spoke to Beer52 who gave us so much great advice!

Thanks so much

RiSE Food & Drink is the parent company of RiSE Coffee Box & RiSE English Wine 

RiSE Coffee Box  A coffee subscription box with various options to suit everyone’s needs including fortnightlymonthlybi-monthly or a one off trial option. Featuring handpicked, premium coffee from independent roasting partners, a little treat, carefully curated and chosen for you from one of our sustainable tasty friends (previous partners include: Tonys Chocolney, Mr. Black Spirits, Brave Foods & The Protein Ball Co.) plus recipes and more.

RiSE Coffee Box will deliver a new and unique coffee box straight to your door every month for £16.99.

RiSE English Wine  An English Wine subscription box, featuring two full size (750ml) bottles of premium English wine, the mixed case includes one bottle of still white wine paired with a sparkling, red or a rosé, bespoke food pairings and tasting notes plus stories from the winemaker and vineyard.

RiSE English Wine box will deliver a new and unique wine box straight to your door every month for £50.00 when you subscribe, significantly cheaper than other providers of English wines.

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