Wellington Coffee Brand Embarks on Crowdfunding Campaign

New Zealanders are invited to own a piece of Peoples Coffee as the company launches its PledgeMe Campaign, looking to raise $1.5 million to supercharge its production capacity and expand its organic Fair Trade footprint across the country.

Founded in 2004 by Matt Lamason, Peoples sources only organic Fair Trade beans to make its coffee, and it was the first New Zealand food and beverage business to be B-Corp certified. Now found in kitchens around the country and cafes and restaurants from Wanaka to Auckland, the company has a $10 million pre-raise valuation and will have a post-raise valuation of $12 million if fully subscribed.

Matt Lamason said Peoples came into the world to make a difference. He started the company after becoming disheartened by the way the traditional coffee industry operates, disempowering coffee farmers and their communities.

“We’ve been championing small-scale coffee farmers and their communities worldwide for 18 years,” he said.

“Staying true to our values has taught us that business can be ethical, sustainable and profitable.  In 2004 we were ahead of our time, and despite being told we couldn’t do it, we’ve not only shown it’s possible, but it’s also now what consumers demand. Business can be meaningful and successful. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Peoples sources its beans from coffee co-operatives in Ethiopia, Columbia, Honduras and beyond. Each co-operative represents anywhere between 500 to 1000 small farmers, who all produce organic, Fair Trade beans. The company pays organic and social premiums for each kilo of beans it buys. Over the last three years, Peoples has returned almost $400,000 to their growers, empowering them to create stronger businesses - building economically and environmentally sustainable futures for generations to come.

James Beyer, Peoples General Manager, explained that they’ve set a maximum raise target of $1.5 million to help grow their production and sales capacity and establish the new heart of Peoples at its brand-new Wellington HQ.

“Ultimately, we want Peoples Coffee to be found in every New Zealand kitchen. We’re looking to purchase a new roasting machine to grow our bean capacity from 2500 to 8000 kilos a week and expand production with automated packaging machinery and high-capacity grinding machines.

“Growing our footprint and sales across NZ’s supermarkets and the hospitality sector is our priority for the next three years. If we can achieve our $1.5 million target, we’re forecasting sales of $6.9 million in three years.”

Lamason noted that growing their footprint and sales will maximise the positive, global impact of Peoples.

“The simple act of making a hot drink can directly influence the lives of the people who grow coffee beans. By selling more Peoples coffee, we will return more in organic and social premiums to our farmers; this is just the beginning of our growth plans. We would love to take the Peoples movement offshore and expand our offering. But first, we need to grow our tribe and our footprint in New Zealand.

“By choosing to raise funds through PledgeMe, we’re staying true to our roots ‘by the people, for the people’. It’s important for us to grow our impact by growing our tribe. With strength in numbers, we can have an even more meaningful impact on the coffee industry while more people enjoy sustainable, organic, epic coffee.”

Peoples will be hosting an Open Day at its new Mansfield Street Roastery on the 9th of October from 10 am to 2 pm, where potential investors can find out more about the company, meet the team, sample Peoples Coffee and see the roastery in action.