Meet Matt & James: Our Founding Advocates Of Ethical, Sustainable Practices.
Updated: Jan 29, 2018
Located in different locations around Sydney, Three Beans prides itself on delivering great tasting food that has been prepared with love and attention in its very own kitchen and cafes. All the food is additive and preservative free and has been sourced from suppliers that adopt strict animal welfare practices.
Three Beans source organic foods and products with a focus on local suppliers that make a difference not only to taste but the environment. It has adopted sustainable practices throughout each café from the packaging, to the recycled timbers in tables and cafe fit outs. This standard is a must at Three Beans, with the team championing food with conscience!
The two people leading the charges, are owners and brothers Matt and James whose passion for food was born directly from their combined past experience.
With Matt's responsibility over food operations during his 17 years at McDonalds in the UK, he devoted a significant amount of time to animal welfare initiatives and recipe changes to remove artificial colours and flavours form the menu. He implemented a number of initiatives that saw the introduction of Rainforest Alliance Coffee, Organic Milk in Happy Meals and Coffee, Fruit in Happy Meals (now adopted globally), free range eggs, Animal Welfare Initiatives and recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel.
James' passion for real authentic food was built from his vast experiences owning and operating restaurants and cafes. James is passionate about coffee with a fastidious attention to detail. He oversees the aging of our coffee beans and visits all café’s everyday to ensure our coffee machines are calibrated and consistent.
We sit down with boss man Matt to hear about what they do and why they do it:
Q: Matt you implemented many important initiatives during your time at McDonalds, what started this passion for making a real change?
A: I was pretty fortunate in the various roles I had at Maccas in the UK. Perhaps the greatest eye opener was during my time in Marketing when I sat in on "focus groups' which were informal chats with Macca's customers. They had real concerns around food like 'what's in it, where's it from, what do you do with it'. As a result I spent a huge amount of time looking at those things, and what I found was both great and not so great. But I got exposed to the whole food supply network from farm to plate. I met amazing farmers, people who were passionate about sustainability, organics and ethics. I guess that really fuelled my passion that good food with strong principles was possible.
Q: What is your vision for Three Beans cafes?
A: We just want to provide good food and coffee with a conscience. We do the rights things, and do them well.
Q: Why is quality and sustainability so important to Three Beans?
A: Because once you actually delve into food production there is a lot that's wrong with it. Its been geared up to produce food intensively and cheaply. Its whole foundation is factory farming that works on the assumption that animals do not feel emotions, or if they do its not important. Our whole ethos is to source food from producers that care about their animals and want to ensure they have a good life.
In terms of drink suppliers or coffee supply it’s all about getting products that have long term viability. Our drinks are from Parkers Organics, which has its own set of production standards, whilst our coffee beans come from farmers/farmers co-operatives that our Roaster visits and knows. And finally we try to choose farmers that are RSPCA certified free range.
Q: Do you have a checklist that your suppliers need to meet?
A: Yes we do, its pretty much everything I have just mentioned. But most importantly we like long-term relationships with our suppliers. We do not shop around on price rather we want to work with people that share our values.
Q: Being a franchise, how do you make sure that quality is kept the same across all of your cafes?
A: We visit, visit ,visit!! Obviously we want to ensure that they share our values when they become a franchisee, but at the same time we are in cafes, and our head office staff are in cafes all the time. We're not very big so its possible to get around the stores every couple of weeks.