Tripod Coffee's Steve Cazzulino recently contributed a piece to Cricket Life Magazine discussing the origins of our business. Check out the article below and make sure you pick up the Spring issue, which is available in all good newsagents now -www.cricketlifemagazine.com
Sitting in Fidel’s Café in Wellington’s Cuban Quarter, Ed Cowan looked up from his newspaper and announced, “I know what we’re doing [with our lives] post-cricket!” It was January 2014 and we had just arrived for a two-week tour of the Land of the Long White Cloud as part of a touring Tasmanian XI. Ed had long been preoccupied with a range of potential entrepreneurial ventures but there was something in his tone that piqued my interest this time.
It transpired that Ed had been reading about Nespresso capsules and the fact that they had been linked with widespread environmental damage. He was eager to find out whether it was possible to manufacture a recyclable alternative without compromising the taste or quality of the coffee. That afternoon as we strode out to open the batting against Wellington, we were still discussing what such a product might look like.
This conversation continued over the coming months as we tossed around a number of ideas. Our traditional post-training conversations, which once existed to fill in an hour, became strategic planning sessions. Fittingly, Tripod Coffee was born in any number of cafes surrounding Tasmania’s Bellerive Oval.
In April I was called in by Cricket Tasmania and told my contract wouldn’t be renewed after four years with the Tigers. While I had long feared the news was coming, it was still a crushing blow to hear I was no longer needed. That afternoon, while attempting to digest the news, I received a comforting phone call from Ed who had a very simple message: “Don’t let cricket define you,” he said. “Besides,” he added, only half-joking, “This will free up some time to start our company.”
Transitioning out of professional sport can be a tricky process, and was no different in my case. Having a job that reflects so much of your identity, and is so closely tied to your sense of self-worth is all-consuming. Once that is taken away, it leaves a particularly hollow feeling. Suddenly you’re no longer a cricketer but a person who plays a bit of cricket.
Tripod Coffee became an outlet for me to pour all my energies into. I threw myself into the world of coffee and learnt everything I could about the industry. The further Ed and I dug, the bigger the opportunity we felt we had to improve on existing capsule technology. We partnered with an award-winning roaster to develop products we thought people would love, and more importantly, that would not harm the environment.
In just over a year, Tripod Coffee has developed from a big idea to a bourgeoning business servicing customers all over the world. The combination of a great coffee in a sustainable capsule - available at a fraction of the cost of products offered by other premium companies - has been particularly appealing. An ever-increasing number of Tripod Coffee devotees are all the proof we need.