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As we roast the last batches of 2021 and prepare buying plans for next year, I find myself reflecting on what has been another fairly strange (very fast) and all in all pretty exciting 365 days. Yet again, we find ourselves with so much GRATITUDE – not only to still be here (!) but to get to work with each other week in and week out and of course for the amazing coffees we are constantly surrounded by.

Krag and I still cannot quite believe that North Star has become the business it has, that we get to do what we do for a living and that we now collectively employ nearly 30 superstars across our roastery, coffee shop and of course Nova Bakehouse. We never imagined this would be the case and our team have become our motivation to continue growing – not only to create more opportunities for them to progress in the long term but also to build the foundations to become the best employer we possibly can, one that truly puts our purpose at the heart of all we do. We have achieved some amazing things this year thanks solely to folk like you who never fail to blow us away with your support for all we do and for your loyalty, pride and respect for our little business! Whether you have been with us right from 2013 visiting the Roastery in Meanwood for a bag and a chat or we helped you through your WFH stints and lockdowns, without you we just would not still be here.

Your support in 2021 has seen us:

·      Roast approximately 75,000 kg of coffee!

·      Increase our purchases from hero suppliers by 50%.

·      Become the first coffee roastery in the UK to offer 100% home compostable packaging.

·      As a result, we were invited to exhibit at COP26 to share our journey, an experience which introduced us to some amazing         people whom we are excited to work alongside to further develop our climate strategy at North Star.

·      Submit our application for B Corp certification – a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit meaning we will be legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our workers, customers, suppliers, community and environment.

·      We collaborated with specialty coffee legends Square Mile in London who wanted to help us spread the word about our El Salvador Infrastructure project – we are only now starting to fully grasp the wide reaching impact of this initiative and we are so excited to complete this project in January.

·      We have put the wheels in motion for an amazing North Star funded project with our Rwandan partners from the Cyato washing station which will see 8 hectares of land set aside for 20 young people who will be sponsored with 1000 coffee trees, training, harvesting support and organic compost to hopefully develop the next generation of coffee producers!

·      Our Roastery team grew from 5 superstars to 10! We were so pleased to welcome Lily, Josh, John, Lydia and Lucas to our fantastic team!

·      We developed our Theory of Change, a blueprint for future growth and decision making that prioritises building an industry that works for everyone by ensuring a quality and impact-led approach brings about more viable business models across our supply chain.

THANK YOU!

Phew…it’s safe to say we are ready for a bit of a rest! We are sure you are too, we know this has been another tough year for so many and we really hope our coffee has brought you some moments of joy. We are now packing up the last beans of this year and preparing to hunker down for some R&R over the next couple of weeks but it is safe to say we are so excited to come back in January and pick up where we left off – next year will see us prioritise our online community with initiatives designed to improve your experience so please do get in touch if there is anything you would like to see from us! Your feedback is always SO welcome!

From the whole of the North Star tram, we wish you and your family happy holidays and a healthy 2022! Here’s to discovering more incredible coffee and driving positive change whilst we’re at it!

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