Glasgow Coffee Festival and Dear Green founder tells her story

Glasgow Coffee Festival and Dear Green founder tells her story

This weekend will see the city centre’s Briggait filled with some of the country’s finest independent cafes, roasteries and caffeine enthusiasts all gathered to celebrate the return of the Glasgow Coffee Festival.

It’s the first time in two years the event will take place in person and Lisa Lawson, the woman behind it all, is raring to go.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Glasgow Coffee Festival and Dear Green founder Lisa LawsonPictured: Glasgow Coffee Festival and Dear Green founder Lisa Lawson

She said: “I’m really looking forward to it now.

“We’ve been waiting for so long.

“Now we’re finally getting the chance to hang out together and appreciate what everyone has been up to.

“There’s going to be a lot of geeky conversations about coffee.”

READ MORE: Glasgow Coffee Festival returns to the historic Briggait

Long before founding the festival, Lisa had already established a reputation as a true pioneer of the Glasgow coffee scene.

Returning from three years of working in Australia in 2010, a gap in the market would soon lead to a new career, changing her whole life and introducing the city to Dear Green coffee in the process.

She said: “I’ve always been obsessed with flavour.

“I would rather not have a coffee than have a bad one.

“When I arrived back in Scotland, there wasn’t anywhere doing it to the standard that I was looking for.

“At that point, it hadn’t even crossed my mind to start my own business.

“I just knew I had to make it happen because there was an opportunity there that no one else was taking.”

And so, Lisa took the plunge sourcing loans and fully committing to a hectic schedule that would help make her vision a reality.

She said: “I started with wholesale because I needed a business model where I could do everything for myself.

“I would roast the coffee on Monday, deliver it on Tuesday and collapse in a heap on Wednesday before spending the rest of the week doing admin and working at a deli on weekends.

“That was my routine for the first year or so.

“It was all very haphazard, but I had enough passion and drive to know I didn’t want to give that energy or commitment to the owner of any other business.”

It wasn’t long before Dear Green coffee could be found in cafes all over Glasgow, becoming the blueprint for future independent roasters and baristas in training looking to follow in Lisa’s footsteps.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: The Glasgow Coffee festival in 2018Pictured: The Glasgow Coffee festival in 2018

Lisa said: “The amount of places to get a great cup of coffee in the city now is incredible.

“I’m always so inspired by what the new guys are doing.

“It’s almost like the next generation. People who have worked with me have gone on to open their own places like Short Long Black or Us V Them.

“I’m sure the people who work with them will go on to do the same.

“It’s really cool.”

READ MORE: All the deals at Glasgow Coffee Festival 2022

Having come so far since, we wonder if Lisa could have predicted Dear Green’s success during its early days?

She said: “Not in the slightest.

“You know in interviews where people ask where you see yourself in five years’ time? I’ve never been that kind person.

“Dear Green has always been a very dynamic company whether that’s starting the Coffee Festival or the Scottish Aeropress Championships.

“It’s all been so exciting and adrenaline-fuelled.

“We’re always ready to take on that next challenge or adventure.”

The Glasgow Coffee Festival will run from May 7 to 8 at the Briggait.

For more information click here.

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