This month, the Seismic team were excited to talk to Bigmoose founder Jeff, and daughter Chloe, manager of their coffee house.
The inspiration behind Bigmoose came after the passing of Jeff’s close friend Gary ‘Moose’ Cloonan. As a way to honour his legacy, Bigmoose aims to inspire folks to live better, healthier and kinder lives by organising and facilitating various charity fundraisers in the city.
When we arrived at Bigmoose Coffee (located just off Queen Street, in the heart of the city), Jeff was already waiting for us outside. A big smile across his face, he is someone you instantly warm to. As we ordered a drink and set up equipment, the friendly staff recommended Bigmoose’s own beer, brewed locally by the wonderful Crafty Devil.
Once we’d settled, Jeff told us a little more about the aims of Bigmoose. From the start, they wanted to make a difference to the homeless community in Cardiff, delivering free tea and coffee and organising donation drives for warm clothes. Bigmoose operates like other coffee shops (the omelettes come highly recommended!), but all profits go back to the community to help the disadvantaged back into work. And this is an area where they’re taking real action, helping people who’ve suffered homelessness back into work and society.
Bigmoose believe in their purpose ‘leaving the world better than we found it’ so much it’s written on their wall in giant neon letters.
Speaking to Chloe, she describes the coffee shop as a building with many faces. It’s a place where people get together to collaborate on different ideas and have fun. You can feel the buzz of excitement as you cross over the threshold. It’s a safe space, and you really get a sense of a community taking action.
At the coffee house, they’ve hosted Soulful Sunrise, a Kickstarter for zero-waste store Ripple and much more. They’ve even given Good Gym a set of keys to let themselves in and use it as their base. As Jeff says, they’re “sweating the asset”. This innovative attitude allows them to get as much use as possible out of what they already possess. They have a unique business model and it’s nice to feel like you’re giving something back as you sip their delicious coffee.
Chloe’s story is an interesting one. Initially taking on a teaching degree as a means to eventually make a difference in people’s lives, her father starting Bigmoose inspired her to take a different approach. She left her degree and now manages the coffee house full time, allowing her father to shift focus from the day to day and toward the outreach work the company aims to do.
Chloe highlights some of the problems she faces having taken such an untraditional path and finding herself a young businesswoman in a saturated market. But she needn’t worry. Despite being tucked away and relying on word of mouth, people told us that once they’d experienced the wonderful atmosphere and great coffee, it became their regular caffeine haunt.
Jeff and Chloe’s passion, enthusiasm and energy are a true inspiration, and make you want to get involved in all the amazing projects they have going on.
We’d like to say a big thank you to them for taking time out of their day to chat to us. We’re huge fans and look forward to becoming a part of their projects in the future.