Why sustainability at Richmond Rd Cafe isn’t just about using the right ingredients


In just half a year, we’ve worked with 11 cafes to divert 7,153kg of coffee grounds from landfill. This was part of a pilot project to collect used coffee grounds from cafes in Waitematā and compost them to feed the soil in local community gardens.

Richmond Rd Cafe at 318 Richmond Rd, run by hospitality leaders Hipgroup, was one of the cafes that took part in the project. The cafe alone contributed more than 1200kg of used coffee grounds. We talked to the team at Hipgroup about why they signed up, and what else they’re doing to lead the way in sustainability.

What does sustainability mean to you at Hipgroup?

Sustainability to us isn’t just the never-ending supply of an ingredient. It branches out from this one word ‘sustainability’ and filters through all aspects of our sourcing and the entire way we function. Sustainability is respect, it’s the practice of being mindful and less wasteful, growing and sourcing from local independent suppliers, composting, recycling, growing our own, understanding supply and seasons, using by-catch, skin blemished produce and less popular proteins – it’s an holistic approach that informs our intentions. Sustainability also holds space for our people, in creating careers and growth – our business model needs to sustain our people and the life ahead of it.

Lara and Thomas from Richmond Rd Cafe checking out the herbs, vegetables and fruit trees at Kelmarna Gardens that have benefited from their coffee grounds.

What sustainable actions can cafes start with?

Our advice to others is to perhaps start with split waste management. Start with minimising waste, and wherever possible repurposing it.

Why did you decide to sign up to our coffee grounds collection pilot?

We decided to sign up to the coffee grounds pilot for all of these reasons along with a greater sense of being involved in our community. Caring about our product, our places, our people, and doing everything we can to make the experience exceptional.

Lara and Thomas with his freshly picked basil from Kelmarna Gardens

This pilot service was funded by the Waitematā Local Board through Live Lightly campaign, and delivered by EcoMatters in partnership with the Compost Collective.

See more photos from Allpress Coffee’s visit to Kelmarna Gardens here