Origin Coffee Founder On The Value Of Business Helping Communities

With Australia’s advanced café culture as inspiration, Tom Sobey strive to modify the drinking habits and to help local communities in Cornwall.

About his life

Tom Sobey wanted to run away from his rural life close to Constantine, Cornwall. He wanted to explore the world, but he found his appreciation for coffee which would eventually lead him to start Origin Coffee.

Sobey’s parents owned a franchise of Coffee Man. He worked for his father, making deliveries of coffee sachets for filter machines at restaurants.

In 1998 and at age 21, he left for a trip to Australia. He worked at several coffee shops, where he took note of its advanced café culture. He remembered how their quality was too ahead.

He returned, inspired from Australia. He intended to start his own coffee brand and also modify how people drink it.

After 5 years, he launched Origin, now has shops located in London, Bristol and Porthleven. Aside from selling coffee, his company has brewing equipment and offers barista training. The company has 46 employees and is expected a £4.3m turn over this year.

Origin’s mission

Ethical coffee is part of their operation ever since the company’s first day. Sobey wanted to have control over things including worker pay and what happens to those waste materials.

It is something setting them apart. For workers, this means fair wage and healthcare access. For their children, it is access to education.

Today, greater than 90% of their trade is direct.

Sobey’s focus is the people. He said that they wanted to give careers to people in the coffee industry. It is about businesses giving back. He mentioned that they always ensure to deliver what they say.

For Sobey, if they can give local people a real career path, that is a great achievement.


With the popularity coffee worldwide – there is even an availability of Coffee Online in Australia and around the world – it is great that it is not any more limited to just being a past time. The coffee businesses are already moving forward and making it a way for supporting other people and giving back to communities.