FOUNDERS: COLIN PYLE, BODIL BLAIN, JOHN QUILTER
INVESTMENT: 2016 - PRESENT
ABOUT CRU KAFE
Artisan coffee specialist CRU Kafe produces recyclable coffee capsules filled with ethically sourced, organic coffee.
When the patent ended on the Nespresso® pod in late 2012, it prompted Bodil Blain, who would become CRU’s co-founder, to ask the question: Why couldn’t there be a more conscientious coffee pod that was superior-tasting and better for the environment?
Crowdfunding began in 2013 and since then, CRU Kafe has become one of the best known coffee pod companies. Seeing an opportunity to disrupt a market worth more than £5 billion, the three founders set out to kick against what they saw as the dominance of the big machine manufacturers.
CRU Kafe produces a range of Nespresso-compatible, recyclable pods filled with organic, Fairtrade coffee, as well as beans, ground coffee and coffee flour, a gluten-free by-product previously discarded as waste.
CRU carefully considers every tiny detail from plant to cup and the company goes to great lengths to seek out the finest quality coffee from around the world. Consistently investing in its products, CRU is currently testing compostable packaging, to complement its biodegradable boxes and recyclable capsules, that it is hoped will become available in 2017.
The company's coffee was voted the "best coffee in a pod" by The Sunday Times, and CRU Kafe capsules are stocked in Soho House hotel rooms around the world.
ABOUT THE FOUNDERS
A Canadian entrepreneur who started up a successful currency brokerage firm in Toronto, Colin then moved to London where he completed his MBA and has been part of the entrepreneur scene ever since. He jumped onboard CRU to steer the ship from idea to launch and now as CEO he oversees the everyday running of the business.
Bodil Blain is a Norwegian entrepreneur, former Elite model and LSE graduate. Three years ago she saw the gap in the market for a more speciality, eco-friendly coffee pod and decided she wanted to create a fresher brand with the potential to disrupt the Nespresso capsule monopoly. After teaming up with John and Colin, CRU Kafe was born.
John Quilter is an entrepreneur, broadcaster and chef with a long career in the food industry, having run restaurants for the likes of Conran and Raymond Blanc as well as operating his own Michelin-listed, award winning brasserie; Marmalade. In partnership with Jamie Oliver, John also launched the You Tube channel Food Busker, one of the fastest growing food channels in the UK, where he showcases the best in trending, global street food, filmed on the streets of London.