Meet The Locals: Paris Cottrell From Charity Coffee

April 4, 2024

Local Sunshine Coast sisters, Paris and Zulema Cottrell, set up Charity Coffee after being inspired by their community-minded parents.

With an innovative, charitable business model, their coffee brand sets out to give back and change the world one cup at a time. The team here at Caloundra City Realty are frequent visitors to the Caloundra Cricket Club cafe, where Paris and Zulema serve Charity Coffee.

We recently visited the cafe and spoke to Paris about her passion for the business and its incredible impact, which is being felt way beyond Caloundra.

Hello, Paris! Our whole team loves your coffee, but tell us about its history – how did Charity Coffee get started?

It all started with our family not for profit organisation, Judge Little Love Lots, which has been running for many years.

There were six of us kids and about 10 years ago, when our parents were running the charity, we went to see the orphanages we were supporting in Africa. We saw challenges with water, food, and general living standards. It opened our eyes to what was happening outside of the Sunshine Coast and how we could genuinely help people.

Over the years, my sister Zulema and I got involved with coffee. We decided to incorporate what we were doing into the family business and try to grow it into something.

Charity Coffee is just a small part of Judge Little Love Lots. My parents also started The Farm in 2015, and there are other ventures too.

My sister and I were really inspired to incorporate our love of coffee into it all. Basically, we sell coffee and beans, and 10% of our profits go to support different charities via the Judge Little Love Lots Foundation.

We try to be as transparent as possible. We post on social media where the money has gone and show people where it’s being used.

It’s amazing the impact we can have through coffee. Aussies love their coffee, so we jumped on that to try and make a difference.

Which charities do you support through Charity Coffee and Judge Little Love Lots?

It’s quite varied. We support a range of wonderful charities overseas and locally.

Overseas we have supported three different orphanages in Tanzania, alongside funding classrooms and schools for deaf children in Africa, and water wells in Kenya. We have also put donations towards eye operations and fishing projects, as well as women’s welfare projects through the Lions Club.

More recently we have branched out to local charities, including Rosies, an organisation that tackles homelessness in Queensland. We also contribute to STEMM (Supporting Teenagers with Education, Mothering and Mentoring) here in Queensland, which is an organisation dedicated to helping teen mums finish their education.

We want to continue to branch out to even more different charities – there are so many worthy causes. We also want to engage our customers, so every time you get given a coffee you get given a bottle lid. We have our charities labelled on containers, and you can choose to cast your vote for who gets the donations by putting your bottle lid in the container for the charity you want to support. Then, whichever box gets the most lids we donate to that month. It lets everyone see that they’re making a difference, one coffee at a time.

We can see you dream big, Paris, so what are your future plans for Charity Coffee?

Charity Coffee strives to change the world one coffee at a time.

Right now we are a coffee shop, but the idea is Charity Coffee will become the brand.

By buying Charity Coffee, you’re supporting charities, so more people using our beans and cups will support more charities.

We sell the coffee beans on our website. Right now, we supply to The Farm, the Cricket Club, and the Maroochydore Clippers basketball stadium. The future is hopefully many more businesses and cafes stocking our coffee.

We’d love Charity Coffee to be an Australia-wide brand. The more people we reach, the more charities we can help, and the more reach we have.

Tell us about the coffee itself.

The feedback from cafes is that people love our beans. We have two different blends and you can buy them on our website or taste them in our coffee shops.

Legacy is our first and more traditional blend. It was named to represent our love and passion for the work we do and the impact we want to make on the world. All of the orphanages we provide for, the fishing projects we fund, the wells we put in, AND the eye operations we fund.

The other blend is East Africa, and for this one, the beans are sourced from where the orphanages are. It’s more fruity tasting. A percentage of the money goes to the orphanages and so that’s a very special bean.

People must love this concept. Our team really enjoys the atmosphere and the coffee at the Cricket Club, and we are often there for meetings and catch-ups.

We often see the team from Caloundra City Realty at the Cricket Club and really appreciate the support!

We’ve been working with the Cricket Club to help run the cafe for around three years. It’s got a great community atmosphere even when there is no cricket on. We open the cafe and have members of running clubs and football clubs come in for coffee and food. During cricket season, we are really busy. And, of course, we give 10% of profits to charity from everything sold.

Coffee with compassion is our motto. We like to make people feel welcome and feel good just by buying coffee. People are really attracted to giving back, and we love that authentic connection we build with our customers.

We find that people get excited about Charity Coffee when they realise the difference they can make.

What do you do when you’re not changing the world through coffee?

I grew up in Caloundra, living the beach life and truly loving it. I’m blessed to be able to live here. I’m a basketball player, so when I’m not running Charity Coffee, I’ll be coaching or playing or training for that. It’s my other passion.

I’ve been lucky to travel and see amazing things around the world, including the orphanages we support, but I’ll always come back to Caloundra. The people are so happy, chilled and friendly.

To find out more about Charity Coffee and Judge Little Love Lots, visit judgelittlelovelots.com or connect with them on Facebook or Instagram.

Photo credits: Charity Coffee Facebook page

Caloundra City Realty

Article by Caloundra City Realty

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