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Charity coffee shops send Big Coffee crying to mummy

The Good Coffee chain started small, inside a charity shop in Wigan. But it was so successful that it soon moved out into its own shop.  The chain expanded quickly and now has hundreds of branches all over the country.  All of the profits from Good Coffee go to charity and the staff are all volunteers, except for one paid manager.

Private sector coffee shops are now complaining about unfair competition. They say that charity coffee shops are undermining their businesses with lower prices, better service, better ethical practices, better recycling and better biscuits. They complain that their business idea (selling addictive stuff to addicts) has been ripped off and that their shareholders are suffering.

Good Coffee stands accused of undercutting its competitors because it uses volunteers and doesn’t pay its staff. In response, a spokesman said, ‘All the other chains just pay minimum wage, so they aren’t much better. No-one can live on minimum wage and the biscuit crumbs left at the end of the day.  Our volunteers have some principles, and are giving their time to support a range of charities.

‘Good Coffee shops raised over £2m last year for a variety of good causes – sick animals, sick humans, diseases, rescues, disasters, poverty – we even gave money to support Capitalism in Crisis.’

Lawyers doubt that Big Coffee (aka Grande Coffee and Vente Coffee) will be able to shut down the Good Coffee chain. They say that a precedent has already been set in the book trade, with many bookshops forced to close due to competition from charity book shops. Our legal expert told us, ‘There aren’t any good grounds for legal action. The case isn’t strong. No barista will want to take on this case.’

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