LDC Top 50 2023
200 Degrees Coffee
Rob Darby struggled to find great coffee to serve in his bistros so he decided to start roasting his own. He set up a roastery in 2012 with co-founder Tom Vincent and 200 Degrees Coffee was born.
Now employing more than 300 people, with 20 shops and seven barista schools across the UK, the business sells coffee beans online and to wholesale clients such as Manchester Metropolitan University and The Alchemist. But for Darby it’s about more than just growth: “From sponsoring an all-female cycling team to teaching barista skills to prison in-mates, we want to do our bit to address some of the imbalances in society.”
It’s important that we’re using our platform to do positive things in the world.”
What sets your business apart?
We’ve created a true point of difference with the quality of our coffee, our shops and our service. Our distinctively independent coffee shops offer fresh food prepared daily on the premises, table service and a warm environment with a timeless decor.
How do you maintain a strong culture?
I want to build a sustainable business with happy people who love their job. Our churn rate is close to zero. We’re all about teamwork and having each other’s backs. Every month, for example, a number of our employees go out for the day to help in the local community, whether that’s working in a homeless shelter or litter picking. Our office staff, including our leadership team, will then step in to run the shop.
What’s your personal ambition?
It’s important that we’re using our platform to do positive things in the world. We’ve created a special coffee blend to support Switch Up, a charity which empowers young people to break the cycle of crime and gang-criminality. We donate £1 for every kilo of coffee sold. From sponsoring an all-female cycling team to teaching barista skills to prison in-mates, we want to do our bit to address some of the imbalances in society.