A Local Business with a Global Impact

Wreckless Eric

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Wreckless Eric’s café differentiates itself from other cafes by using ethically sourced coffee beans, although it causes each cup to cost a bit more the consumer and café know the people making their business and experience possible are being taken care of. The coffee beans are also organically grown which causes the price of the cup to increase but ensures the health of the local environment from which the bean was grown to not be harmed. This cafe provides not only coffee but loose-leaf tea, local beer, and signature cocktails.

Authors

Dilpreet Deol

Dilpreet Deol

Braedan Thompson

Braedan Thompson

Garabed Cekani

Garabed Cekani

Taha Shukur

Taha Shukur

School

University of Guelph

University of Guelph

Professor

Ruben Burga

Ruben Burga

Innovation

Wreckless Eric’s café differentiates itself from other cafes by using ethically sourced coffee beans, although it causes each cup to cost a bit more the consumer and café know the people making their business and experience possible are being taken care of. The coffee beans are also organically grown which causes the price of the cup to increase but ensures the health of the local environment from which the bean was grown to not be harmed. This cafe provides not only coffee but loose-leaf tea, local beer, and signature cocktails.

A Local Business with a Global Impact

Inspiration

Inspiration for this innovation was constructed by the original owners of Wreckless Eric. They wanted to create a viable business that wasn’t on the back of slavery. Their mission was to create an innovation where everyone received fair treatment as well as, have a minimal impact on the environment. This impact was through reducing their carbon footprint by sourcing fresh, local and natural products for the coffee shop. The new owners of the coffee shop have maintained the core values of Wreckless Eric established by the previous owners, by ensuring that their practices are up to their standards as well as, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Although it is unclear how the original innovation came about and why all they know is that the original owners wanted to have a minimal environmental impact.

Overall impact

There is a trade-off this innovation has had to make when supporting fair trade practices. Taking the time to ensure that they are supporting those who treat their farmers fairly is more expensive for the company however, people are willing to spend extra money on it because it is fairly traded. These farmers are paid fair wages, work in safe conditions where they aren’t taken advantage of and don’t face discrimination for any of their work. Wreckless Eric also has environmental initiatives where they provide discounts to customers and offer twice the number of stamps in their loyalty cards on Monday’s when they bring in reusable containers.

This innovation took a long time to set up and for it to start making a profit due to its initial costs. Ultimately, long-term people are willing to pay for the difference and become regular customers as they know they are positively contributing to society. This is the main reason as to why there are recurring customers and tourists who want to make a stop here due to the store being fair trade coffee sellers. Aside from those reasons, people are also wanting to support their local businesses who are trying to do good in the world instead of buying from larger chains.

This innovation allows the company to help reach two of the UN Sustainability Goals. These goals are goals 8 and 12 which are decent work and economic growth, and responsible consumption and production respectively. Using fair-trade coffee helps to support these goals as it ensures that the workers are being compensated properly (goal 8) and that the production and consumption of these beans are being done responsibly (goal 12).

Business benefit

The first and most obvious benefit to the Wreckless Eric's business is the fact that some consumers are looking for free trade coffee bean when they make the choice to buy coffee as stated in the interview it has sometimes become a talking point in the café and people seem to enjoy the idea of their coffee being sourced ethically. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced as well which strengthens the relationships with local distributors and to allow local business to flourish like themselves. This will encourage those people even more so to purchase their cup of coffee from Wreckless Eric's further pushing the business forward. Another benefit to the business is the productivity that conducting socially responsible businesses can achieve as employees of Wreckless Eric’s will feel more enticed to sell ethically sourced coffee and know that they are at least making a difference in the communities of places that produce their ingredients.

Social and environmental benefit

Many of the world's largest producers of coffee acquire their ingredients through unethical means (Ras, 2019). This is where Wreckless Eric’s café is different as it ensures that its coffee is from ethically sourced labour, which benefits the environment that those employees work in furthering the opportunity for themselves along with their children when fair wages are put in place those employees have a chance to further the education and quality of life for their children benefiting the environment rearing the next generation. The coffee bean is also organically grown that ensures the land will be healthy and usable for many generations to come as well improving the health of the local ecosystem where the farming takes place as dangerous chemicals used to keep crops healthy in other farming operations seep into the surrounding land and water ecosystems.

Ras, B. (2019, September 19). 9 Fair Trade Coffee Companies That Are Good to the Last Drop. Retrieved from https://www.goodnet.org/articles/9-fair-trade-coffee-companies-that-are-good-to-last-drop

Interview

Rachel Bingham, Owner

Photo of interviewee

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Wreckless Eric

Wreckless Eric

Elora, Ontario, CA

Business Website: http://www.wrecklesseric.ca

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Wreckless Eric is a local fair-trade coffee shop located in Elora, Ontario. They are a business that is fresh, local and natural, who wants to ensure everyone in their supply chain is treated fairly. Their shop includes fair-trade organic coffee, a scratch kitchen, gluten-free treats, and creative cocktails.