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Family brews coffee supply business success story

Family brews coffee

A family coffee business has thrived in its first year despite the unprecedented challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has presented. Mark Shea founded Mini & Mighty last year alongside wife Joanna after losing his job suddenly.

Fortunately, he had built up many years of expertise in the coffee trade working for nationally known brands Tchibo Coffee and Coffee 1652 and, with the support of his family and friends, felt able to strike out on his own.

Mr Shea said: “It was a friend of mine, Adrian Tarbuck, who got us started in the business, we’ve been friends for 30 years and he pushed me to do it. “It turned out it really was a blessing. “I came up with the name one Sunday afternoon and we started from there.”

Mark and Joanna now run their business from their home on Fernlea Avenue, Oswaldwistle, where they live with daughters eight-year-old Anabel and six-year-old Maia, having originally started in Helmshore.

They now have wholesale customers all over the North West, in Blackburn, Ramsbottom, Rossendale, Bolton, Bury, Accrington, St Annes, Southport, Bispham, Garstang, and more.

The firm supplies coffee to cafes, restaurants and businesses as well as making products available for people to buy from their own homes. The coffee is all ethically sourced, with a wide variety of 100% arabica and medium roast blends available.

Along with coffee, customers can buy brewing equipment, teas, hot chocolates, syrups and toppings.

Mr Shea credits the company’s success with the care they take with customers, where in the case of business clients, Mini & Mighty will assist with staff training and other services such as paying to install new coffee making machines.

This caring approach is also what helped see the company through the challenges posed by the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown situation.

Mr Shea said: “Whilst there were some good things about being small, it was tough, and we lost a lot of revenue, but we just adapted, and people rallied together. “I believe, and I’ve seen in my years in the industry, that coffee is very relational, it’s not just about having the product, it’s about service, it’s about thinking a bit differently.

“We’ve found that if we look after customers then they will look after us.”