This time round, our "Starting Conversations" series has taken us down to delightful Dorset where Jim Cregan, the legend behind Jimmy's Iced Coffee, can be found. It's thanks to him that many of us Londoners have been weaned off warm tea for iced cold coffee...
MS: Jimmy, thanks for coming on. We love the story of how you spotted a gap in the UK supermarket fridge! Like most good plans, the basis was simple and effective. Do you mind recapping for those who don’t know?
Yo! Of course. Back in 2007, I was a part time labourer in the winter and a main stage festival host in the summer. I got really fed up of doing that so I left to Oz for a bit of a break with my now wife, Sophie. It was there I discovered Iced Coffee. I came home, realised there was a gap in the market, asked my sister to come on board with me to be my business partner, borrowed money from mum and dad, found a manufacturing partner and cracked on from there!
MS: It sounds like we all owe your sister Suze for getting Jimmy’s off the ground in the first place... 2 questions: Was she easily convinced and how’s it been working with a sibling?
She was easily convinced. She was running a café at the time and it was really challenging just to make ends meet. It’s been awesome working with my sister and once we found our strengths and weaknesses, we were able to focus on the goal pretty quickly.
MS: Tell us about the coffee itself. Where does it come from and why is it so delicious?
Our coffee comes from the Huila region of Colombia. It’s so tasty because it’s an Arabica bean and it’s mixed with milk from the west country and a touch of demerara sugar. The coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified too so that makes it taste just that little bit better.
MS: This whole story began on a trip down under – do you still find time to travel? Where next?
I didn’t find time to travel at the beginning, but we have done some fun trips recently. We’ve taken the kids in the van to northern Spain for 3 weeks a few summers ago, we hung out in Nicaragua last Christmas. Bali and Morocco are the next destinations along with a little skip across the water to Jersey.
MS: What’s the inspiration behind the Rideclub? Any favourite entries?
I love road tripping and I love classic cars. Their styling, smell, sound and all that make them really fun. My favourite entry is mine, a powder yellow Mercedes estate from 1981. It’s really basic, it rolls around like a boat, the steering wheel is bigger than one of Saturn’s rings and when you shut the door, it makes a proper ‘clunk’ sound.
We took a rover 45 on the Mongol rally but it got knicked. Can we enter memories?
MS: Ha ha! Oh no! That sucks. Of course you can, memories maketh man. And manners. Final question: what advice would you give to entrepreneurs just starting out?
Damn the man. Get busy living.
Find out more about Jimmy's adventure here: