I have been scouring the web and asking for awesome Mamas to help me spread the news to the Motherhood Community that it is entirely and plausibly possible to maintain a sense of self after giving birth to our wee bundles of joy; Today I am so happy to be interviewing a fellow Rockin’ Mama who has thrown in the towel at her day job and has spread her wings and opened up a truly unique and amazing Coffee Shop that is one of a kind… The Kind Grind.
I have, in the past, interviewed a plethora of women and quite frequently fellow bloggers but I am so overjoyed to have the opportunity to share with you the life, aspirations and down right plain rocking-ness of Steffi and her gorgeous venture!
1. Tell us a little about you and your family.
I’m mum to Brody, 5 and Romeo, 10 months, and we live in a little cottage in the seaside town Torquay with our cat Lilly.
2. What does Motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is everything. An all encompassing role of love, adventure, laughs and occasional tears but always lots and lots of love.
3. What struggles have you faced as Mama and how have you overcome that?
I split up with Brodys dad before he was born so I was a single mum, trying to study 16 hours a week and balance life and at times although I loved life it could be tough. I use to drive around in my car until he fell to sleep then I’d sit in my car with a note pad and text book doing my study until he woke up. Thankfully he liked long naps! Going back to work was hard as I’m sure most mums would agree, trying to find suitable childcare and balance drop offs and pick ups with work starts and finishes, not the biggest challenge in the world but certainly an ongoing struggle. I was single for 3 years until I met Romeos dad Simon who sadly I recently split from so once again I’m finding my feet as a single mum, although I’m much more confident this time around. We split during the first week of my shop opening so it’s been really hard balancing childcare, quality time, housework, finances and the shop but we’re getting by. I’ve got some great friends around me and my mum helps when she can so things aren’t as tough as they could be. I think struggles are character building anyway, they’ve certainly always made me stronger as cliched as that may be.
4. Do you find time to relax and remember YOU?
At the moment, not really. The shops only been open 5 weeks and took a lot of renovation to get open so it’s been a tough few months but I am a believer in looking after mum so I’ve made time to get my hair done this week and as the business becomes more established plan to claim back some me time as and when I can.
5. Tell us about your incredible business The Kind Grind.
The Kind Grind is an eco friendly coffee shop. Almost everything in the shop is either preloved or made from sustainable materials, even our coffee machine was sourced preloved. All of our takeaway packaging is made from biodegradable materials and we recycle nearly all of our waste. Our coffee and hot drinks are all fair trade, organic and from a local supplier. We use local independent cake artists. Our bottled water is made by Belu whose glass bottles are made from 45% recycled glass and can be recycled again and they give 100% of their profits to Water Aid. We are part of the Suspended Coffee movement where people can buy a coffee and it is held back and given free to someone in need as a pay it forward gesture so anyone can have the dignity of coming and enjoying a coffee in our shop, a privilege not enjoyed by so many.
All of our food is vegan which goes hand in hand with our environmental principles and as an animal lover I am not comfortable with funding the suffering and death of living creatures. So the aim is to show love to people, the planet and animals. It’s a really personal project for me and it’s so wonderful to have it being so well supported, we get so busy and it’s wonderful!
6. What first inspired you to start The Kind Grind?
I’m an estate agent by trade which I’ve mostly enjoyed but during my maternity leave I was feeling a lot of pressure from my employer which was upsetting me and it got me thinking that I didn’t want my children growing up and getting a negative perception of work from seeing me stressed and upset. So I started thinking of things I’d enjoy and I spotted a little takeaway coffee bar and decided there and then to look into getting my own. Originally I wanted a low maintenance takeaway on the side of the street but when I found this shop available I just fell in love. People were viewing it with the estate agents and walking out halfway through the viewing it needed so much doing but I just loved the space and position right opposite a church and graveyard and so I brought Simon, Romeos dad along who is a great builder and couldn’t believe it when he agreed to take it on. We went for a inspirational tour of coffee shops in Newquay to see what they were up to down there and found some great places, and we especially took inspiration from three great coffee shops, Brew & Tattoo, Box & Barber and Tom Thumb, we loved what they were doing and Adie at Brew & Tattoo gave some great advice about just going with what you want to do and being confident with it, it was only a short chat that we had but he was really helpful and inspiring. They are all great places if you ever find yourself in need of a coffee in Newquays, or in Tom Thumbs case, wine, something else I’d eventually like to get a licence to sell!
7. Do you have any tips on balancing Mamahood, your career and YOU?
Take all the help and support you can. Get great childcare. Romeo goes to a childminder 3 days a week now and I know he’s going to have a great day when he goes and can leave him in total confidence. Take care of yourself and try to leave work stresses at work. I’ve set up a desk at the shop so I do paperwork there instead of taking it home. My staff here have been an unbelievable support too. Rachel and Ri are not only incredible baristas but they really have the shop at their heart and have brought great ideas to the place. It’s great to be able to take a day off with the kids and know the shop is in safe hands.
8. Do you have a favourite inspirational quote or phrase to share with our readers?
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
… is a big one for me, so much so we have it on a recycled pallet on the wall. I can’t change the world from my little shop but if I can inspire others to make small changes, be that living more sustainably, being kinder or going vegan, then I feel I’ve made a difference. By just being here offering an alternative to cows milk and plastic coffee cups I’m making a difference and people are coming onboard with our ethics. I hope other businesses see what we’re doing and start thinking about what positive changes they can make as I believe we all have a responsibility to be kind to each other, animals and our planet.
Steffi Rox xx
I hope you have enjoyed reading all about this rockin’ Mama and found inspiration to rock up your own Mama lifestyle. If you wish to take part in this series please pop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org