Hello! We're the faces behind HICUP - a husband and wife team called Gareth and Emma (although Emma does all the work). We are both trying to follow the Jesus way and so have always had a desire to help other people and our beautiful world. In recent years the rising environmental crisis caused by non-recyclable coffee cups ending up in landfill really struck a chord with us. Emma has always been interested in recycling and when she discovered that so many take away coffee cups were unable to be recycled it came as a real shock. We have always been fans of using reusable coffee cups, and so we thought, why not sell a reusable coffee cup which tackles an environmental issue AND a social issue as well? At that time we were very aware of the rising numbers of people who were having to rely on food banks in order to feed their families so we thought this was a great cause to support. And so HICUP was born! We both currently work full time but are so excited to be embarking upon this little venture which will hopefully have a positive impact on society. Oh and we almost forgot the third member of the team; Heskey the cocker spaniel, who is hoping he can score a modelling career posing alongside our HICUPs.
HICUP stands for Helping Communities Cup - simply because we want to help people in local communities through our cups!
We're sure most of you have been calling it high-cup (or high-coop like our friend Simon), but HICUP is actually pronounced like those annoying little things which make you hold your breath or cause someone to scare you - HICCUP! I'm sure you're wondering why we didn't just put two C's in the name then? So is Gareth. That was the subject of much debate and ultimately Emma won that argument...
With each sale of our coffee cups we will donate provisions towards a care package to a local food bank. As a start-up social enterprise, we are starting off by partnering with one food bank; Lisburn Food Bank (LFB). We're hoping that partnership will help us to refine our donation processes and then, with your support, we can help other food banks across the country.
No, after you buy a cup, we give a monetary donation to Lisburn Food Bank (LFB). There are a couple of reasons we do it this way rather than handing over an actual food parcel, and both of those are to the benefit of LFB and the people they support. First of all, it allows LFB to tailor the donation and stock up on whatever products they are running low on at that particular time. For example, they may have a a store room full of baked beans and soup but be running low on cereals and pasta - or vice versa the next week. The monetary donation also means LFB can purchase perishable good such as bread, vegetables or meat, or sanitary products and other essential care items.
Yes! We are delighted to share that you can buy a HICUP from the following local stockists:
- Scott's Farm Shop, Coleraine
- ConeZone, Tower Centre, Ballymena
- Ballylagan Organic Farm, Ballyclare
- Flax Coffee, Belfast
- Baked Potato Cafe, Lisburn
- Costcutter, Dollingstown
- Costcutter, Lurgan
Keep your eyes peeled for more in the future!
Don't worry - our friends at Lisburn Food Bank are keeping the HICUP donation money separate and will keep the records to show that every last penny goes directly on food and other products for the care packages. So your cup purchase is DIRECTLY helping somebody in need.
At the very beginning of this seedling idea, we planned out a number of meals which could feed a family of four, such as a tuna pasta bake or a chickpea curry (both highly recommended, we may add). We then worked out how much these would cost using items sourced from a local supermarket. Each meal cost less than £5 so but we wanted to include a little more in order to cover extra items and to meet the demands of fluctuating supermarket prices. And also because that figure matches in with our overall cup price, factoring in all our other costs.
It's a fair question - and we're glad you want to check! We are a social enterprise, so the fact we set the company up this way means the legal structure wouldn't allow us to do that. For now, any money we may personally receive will only be reimbursement to cover start up costs; neither of us are taking a wage at this stage. All of the profits go back into furthering the business or to making additional food bank donations. The heart of this business is to benefit those is need - not us. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you want any more information.
Absolutely! Lisburn Food Bank have been really supportive of this idea and we are delighted to be partnering with them during the initial stages of this venture. As the enterprise grows we plan to extend our reach to other food banks in other parts of Northern Ireland (and beyond!). If you are associated with a food bank in your area and would be interested in partnering with us, please get in touch - we would love to hear from you!
Absolutely! We are delighted to have already provided stock to several local stores, cafes and farm shops. If you are interested in working with us, please drop us an email at email@example.com and we would be delighted to chat and work something out.
We have been working with Rapid Agency, whose fantastic graphic designer Kathryn came up with the logo concept. It's a fish, in the sea with the sun behind. Kathryn was inspired by the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with two small fish and five loaves of bread. We just loved this analogy and feel that story reflects our company heart and ethos. When we all bring what little we have, great things can be achieved. The logo also, of course, links in with our passion for reducing single use plastics and helping to save our oceans and the beautiful fishies that live there.
We both work full time in our regular jobs so please have patience with us while we prep, package and drop off your deliveries in our spare time. We aim to ship orders within 2 days of receiving them. Royal Mail have been totally overwhelmed lately so please have patience while you await your little cup bundle to arrive. If you have any concerns about your delivery, please get in touch via Facebook, Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to look into this for you.
Sadly not! If you do pop your little cup in the dishwasher it can damage the magic vacuum power which keeps your drink piping hot. Repeated dishwasher use can reduce the effectiveness of this. I'm afraid you'll have to get the fairy liquid out!
Best to keep your HICUP out of here and just make yourself a fresh brew. We promise it will taste better anyway! Nobody wants a private firework display in your microwave...
Yes, our cups are equally capable of transporting other hot drinks such as tea, Horlicks or Gareth's granda's personal favourite, an OXO cube. Whatever you are into!
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